Erik Kratz fulfills our dreams as the first position player to pitch this year
There are a multitude of reasons why we love position players pitching. When they're really good, it's a sneak peek at a possible alternate reality.
And when they struggle, lobbing up 73-mph fastballs, we can imagine that it's us up there facing off against Major League hitters -- even if we never topped 53 mph on that carnival "test your speed" machine.
Erik Kratz fulfilled both on Tuesday night. With the Astros trailing the Mariners, 9-1, in the bottom of the eighth inning, the usually-a-catcher emerged from the bullpen to try and end the game and save Houston's bullpen.
While he didn't have mid-90s heat, Kratz did sit in the mid-80s and looked downight respectable in the role. With a little more practice, he could even make a habit of this.
Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing for the catcher. While Kratz gave up two runs on three hits, he didn't walk anyone, either. A fact he was proud of when he told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart:
Of course, even if he didn't walk anyone, his control wasn't perfect. With Seth Smith at the plate, Kratz released a pitch that apparently was filled with helium as it went straight up.
As Kratz said:
While the 11-1 loss was certainly not what the Astros were hoping for, it's the most perfect start to the position-players-pitching season that we as fans could hope for. And still 1,000,000 times better than any of us at home could ever do.
Well, except for maybe his son.