The Cardinals called on infielder Ruben Tejada to pitch the ninth ... with extremely mixed results
But in the midst of this ongoing celebration, let us never forget: The position player-turned-pitcher is a noble profession, and it is not for the faint of heart. Whether down big or up big, teams need outs, and no ordinary pitchers can get them. In steps the position player, nothing but a mid-80s fastball and as-yet-unidentified breaking balls at his disposal. Perhaps American poet laureate Tubthumper said it best -- you'll get knocked down, but you'll get up again, and in the case of Ruben Tejada on Friday night, they're never going to keep you down.
With the Cardinals down 9-2 heading to the top of the ninth, Tejada was called upon to save the St. Louis bullpen. Initially, things went ... not so great:
But after back-to-back home runs from Chris Herrmann and Brandon Drury, the infielder rebounded -- he got both Chris Owings and Phil Gosselin to fly out to center to retire the side.
Dingers aside, manager Mike Matheny appreciated the effort. "Unfortunately, I think he's almost too pitcher-like," Matheny told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. "Sometimes you can bring in a guy a little under the radar throwing lollipops up there. Their hitters were having to really concentrate because his arm was good enough."
So here's to Ruben Tejada and all the position players pitching nationwide. Just remember: We might think your deliveries are hilarious, but you're the real heroes.