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Erik Kratz yelled 'Look out!' on a wild knuckler

The most polite pitcher in baseball
@michaelsclair
September 21, 2020

There's one skill we don't talk enough about when discussing ballplayers: The ability to even step into the batter's box and face 90-something mph pitches. For as much as we were taught "don't be afraid of the ball" in Little League, facing a big league pitcher has to be one

There's one skill we don't talk enough about when discussing ballplayers: The ability to even step into the batter's box and face 90-something mph pitches. For as much as we were taught "don't be afraid of the ball" in Little League, facing a big league pitcher has to be one of the most harrowing things a person can do.

So, it was pretty refreshing when the Yankees' veteran catcher -- and lion headband-wearer-- Erik Kratz came in to pitch on Sunday afternoon against the Red Sox. Kratz showed off a pretty good little mid-60s knuckler, one that even surprised Rafael Devers:

But a knuckleball does not listen to the most seasoned and practiced pitchers, much less position players moonlighting on the mound. So, when one got away from Kratz, he very helpfully shouted, "Look out!" to J.D. Martinez:

Still, you can't warn every batter. So, when Kratz drilled Red Sox homer-hitting rookie Bobby Dalbec, well, he was ready for a rumble.

"Yeah, that's right. Come on out here," Kratz yelled. Dalbec could only smile at the warning -- something you rarely see in Red Sox and Yankees rivalry.

But that's what happens when everything is already wrapped up for the year: The Yankees are on the way to the postseason and Boston is looking forward to next year.

Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.