Utility man Brandon Dixon struck out Jose Ramirez on a 67-mph cutter, sending Ramirez's bat flying
Brandon Dixon has done it all for the Reds this season. He's played first base, right field, left field, second base and third base, but hadn't taken the mound to play the role of a pitcher ... until Monday night's 10-3 loss to the Indians at Great American Ball Park.
Brandon Dixon doesn't usually pitch, but when he does, he's a.........— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 14, 2018
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With Cleveland leading in the ninth inning, 10-3, Reds manager Jim Riggleman brought in Dixon for his first pitching appearance, and he was up to the task -- retiring Francisco Lindor on popup, Michael Brantley on a flyout and striking out Jose Ramirez, who at the time was 3-for-4 with a homer on the night. And he did it on three pitches.
But not just any three pitches: Three floaty cutters, with the "fastest" clocking in at 74.5 mph, the last one coming in at 66.9 mph and causing Ramirez to lose his bat on the whiff:
That's just nasty.
Here's the three-pitch strikeout of Ramirez:
Dixon said after the game that he was prepped ahead of his pitching debut:
"[Reds bench coach] Pat Kelly told me in the eighth it might be a possibility and then after I hit they told me I was going to throw the ninth," he said. "Honestly, you are just hoping to get a few outs before they score a bunch of runs. In a game like that no one wants to be on the field any longer than you have to. I was just trying to throw strikes and get outs."
The last time Dixon recalled pitching, he guessed, was freshmen year in high school. "It's been a while."
With a simple, "just throw strikes" game plan, Dixon admitted he did have some strategy up there on the hill. "I was honestly just trying to throw strikes," he said. "I figured eventually they would pop out because that always ends up happens with guys throwing 65. I think I threw the first pitch for a strike and was like 'All right, as long as I can do that, that is all I have to do.'"
Oh, and did we mention Reds pitcher/occasional power hitter
But wait there's more. Michael Lorenzen is also a.....— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 14, 2018
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Lorenzen didn't get a chance to make a play in the outfield, but that didn't take away from the experience. "It was definitely special," he said afterward. "You hope for better circumstances, but it was definitely a childhood dream. I know why my wife and family were probably extremely excited. Trying to put myself in their shoes, I know how happy and how much fun it was for them to watch."
Add this one to the "actually, position players pitching is good" category thanks to its sheer amusement value.