A's starting pitcher, yes pitcher, Kendall Graveman batted cleanup against the Yankees
With a name like Kendall Graveman, I have to assume the A's starter isn't afraid of much. Roller coasters? Heights, schmeights. Go walking in a cemetery after midnight? Again, that's literally his name. Bat cleanup against the Yankees? SURE.
When Danny Valencia left the A's-Yankees game on Wednesday in the fourth inning with a left hamstring strain, Chris Coghlan shifted over to third base, and designated hitter Jed Lowrie took over second. But that meant Graveman had to slot into Valencia's spot in the lineup -- cleanup, as a pitcher, in his first Major League at-bat.
And, on top of that, he became the first starting pitcher, ever, to come to the plate at the new Yankee Stadium when he did so in the fifth inning with two runners on:
Just announced: Graveman is the first starting pitcher to bat at the current Yankee Stadium.- Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) April 21, 2016
But was he afraid? No way. He's Kendall Graveman. It takes more than a historic anomaly to frighten him. Sure, he may have struck out on three pitches, but look at this contact on the second:
That's a man whose name is scarier than the situation. And as he told MLB.com's Jane Lee after the game, it was a good sign:
"I didn't show up to the park thinking I was going to get an at-bat ... so to get an at-bat there was big because it means I was still in the game."