Jose Fernandez continues the fight for pitchers' batting equality with a game-winning double
For years, pitchers were an afterthought at the plate -- their every swing mocked, their occasional bat flips of glory turned into a novelty act. But now, finally, the tide is beginning to turn, and pitchers are being appreciated for the stealth offensive weapons they truly are.
On Thursday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy let Madison Bumgarner serve as the team's designated hitter in Oakland, and his ace rewarded him with a double and 6 1/3 strong innings. And now, just one day later, fellow pitcher with power Jose Fernandez did the lefty one better: In the top of the 12th against the Braves, Fernandez was called upon to pinch-hit with two runners on, and he delivered with a game-winning double.
Needless to say, Fernandez's teammates were pretty excited:
He even got a smile out of hitting coach Barry Bonds:
Fernandez himself couldn't even contain his joy. As he told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro after the game: "That's always been like a dream, to play in the outfield or to pinch-hit like that. But when it actually happened, I was like, 'Oh, my God, I'm actually doing this.'"
Congratulations, Jose. We eagerly anticipate the day when pitchers are called upon to hit in any situations. Just, uh, maybe not against knuckleballers. One step at a time.