Catcher Chris Gimenez kept it 'slow, slow, and slower' in his fourth career pitching appearance
Veteran Chris Gimenez is no stranger to the mound. Over the course of a nine-year career and before Sunday, the backup catcher had taken the hill three times, first in 2014 for the Rangers and twice in 2016 for the Indians. So when Twins pitching suffered a tough day during a 13-4 loss to the Tigers on Sunday, skipper Paul Molitor knew that he had a bit of an ace in the hole with Gimenez.
Ryan Pressly was the Twins' sixth pitcher of the game, and after allowing three runs on three hits in the ninth inning, Molitor decided to make the move. He only needed someone to get one more out to end the frame. Enter position player pitching pro Chris Gimenez:
Some of Gimenez's pitches might have registered on Gameday as knuckleballs, but keeping the pitches simple was merely part of his strategy. "I just try to locate about 68 to 79 mph and go from there. Let them supply the power. ... They were all heaters. Just slow and slower. That's my game. Maybe [Gameday] should call it 'the medium' or something," Gimenez joked to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger.
The gameplan worked out on Sunday. Gimenez needed only four pitches to retire Andrew Romine on a fly ball to center, ending the inning. Having played at all of catcher, first base, left field, right field, third base, DH, and pitcher in his career, Gimenez definitely qualifies as a utility man in every essence of the word.
Gimenez wasn't even alone for the Twins on this afternoon in terms of unusual pitching performances. In the sixth inning, due to a passed ball on a called third strike, Michael Tonkin and Craig Breslow combined to strike out four Tigers in one frame.