Pirates outfielder Jaff Decker takes the mound, slams door on inning
Pirates outfielder Jaff Decker takes the mound
The Pirates were down 15-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning against the Reds on Thursday. Starter A.J. Burnett lasted 4 1/3 innings and a trio of relievers pitched 2 2/3 innings to bring them to their final half-inning in the field. To finish things off, they turned to Jaff Decker.
Left fielder Jaff Decker.
Pitching professionally for the first time ever, Decker wasn't too shabby on the mound, either. The very first pitch he threw -- a 79-mph changeup -- caught Joey Votto swinging.
Votto ended up hitting a single off Decker, and Marlon Byrd followed up by doubling. But then Decker retired three straight to end the inning, as if he were a closer slamming the door on an opponent's rally. He must've been paying attention when his position-player-pitcher counterparts took the mound earlier this season.
"I had fun with it. When they told me I'd have the opportunity, I was pretty excited," Decker told MLB.com's Tom Singer after the game. "I wish the opportunity wasn't there, but … it was cool."