Erick Aybar's knuckleball was so pretty, both he and Chris Iannetta couldn't help but laugh
A position player pitching is nothing new to the Padres. After all, following last season's revelation, catcher Christian Bethancourt has been converted into a modern Brooks Kieschnick. Trailing the D-backs, 11-1, in the ninth inning on Tuesday night, Padres shortstop Erick Aybar was called on to relieve the two-way player.
Padres manager Andy Green told MLB.com's Jay Paris how he chose the shortstop after the game. "I started cranking my arm at him at shortstop, seeing if he wanted to pitch, and he cranked it back to me," the skipper said. "You can't exactly have a conversation. At that point I felt like Christian had thrown enough pitches."
Green understood the fun in the moment -- despite the scoreline. "Frankly, at some point and time you have to smile. You've got to enjoy the moment," Green said. "There weren't a lot of moments to enjoy, no likes getting beat. Trust me, no one hates to lose more than I do. But at some point and time your players have to smile. And that smile relaxes them going into tomorrow."
One knuckleball from Aybar later and Herrmann grounded out to end the inning.
Though the Padres would scratch across a run in the bottom half, the game would end when the shortstop-turned-pitcher grounded into a game-ending double play. Not everything can be as fun as throwing knuckleballs, sadly.