Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Robinson is first Nats position player to pitch

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- In the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 14-6 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field, Nationals manager Matt Williams approached position players Clint Robinson and Tyler Moore and asked which one of them wanted to pitch the eighth.

Robinson volunteered, and with that, he became the first position player to pitch for the Nationals since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- In the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 14-6 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field, Nationals manager Matt Williams approached position players Clint Robinson and Tyler Moore and asked which one of them wanted to pitch the eighth.

Robinson volunteered, and with that, he became the first position player to pitch for the Nationals since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005.

View Full Game Coverage

"Yeah, Drew [Storen] told me about that," said Robinson, who allowed a leadoff single to David Peralta, struck out Aaron Hill and then retired the last two batters without incident. "I guess that's a pretty cool thing."

Robinson said he hadn't pitched since his senior year at Northview High School in Dothan, Ala. Back then, he threw in the low 90s. Tuesday night, none of his nine pitches -- seven of them strikes -- clocked in any higher than 81 mph.

Robinson's early pitching career, though, ended at Troy University, but not by his own design.

"Well, they tried it," Robinson said. "But when you can only throw one inning and you're done for two weeks, it's not going to work. You might want to go hit. I won't feel too good tomorrow. I have new respect for what those guys go out and do. I have a few little sores in my body that I usually don't have in a game."

Asked if he had iced his arm afterward, Robinson deadpanned: "No. I don't believe in it."

Robinson didn't want all the attention, but he was certainly willing to take one for the team. The D-backs were leading, 14-4, at the time he was brought in, long after knocking out starter Stephen Strasburg in the fourth inning. Williams only had to use one reliever in Monday night's 11-1 win, because Max Scherzer pitched seven innings.

But the manager had gone as far as he wanted to after using three relievers behind Strasburg, who allowed a career-high eight runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.

"We don't want to stretch our bullpen too thin," Williams said. "It was a little reversal of fortune tonight, as opposed to last night. You never want to get there, though. It's never something you want to do, but sometimes, in games like this, you have to."

At least Robinson will be able to tell his grandchildren he pitched better than Strasburg, at least for one night.

"I don't think over the course of time it will be like that," Williams said. "But for one night? It's a dubious honor, right?"

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Washington Nationals, Clint Robinson