Jay who doesn’t usually play—let alone pitch—chucks a flawless ninth
The Toronto Blue Jays’ arms have struggled a lot recently. Case in point: the Jays’ pitching corps coughed up an embarrassing 35 runs against the Boston Red Sox this weekend, causing manager John Farrell to take a hard look at his bullpen. Apparently, Farrell didn’t think much of what he saw. With his squad trailing 16-4 at the Rogers Centre on Saturday, Farrell, despite having four relievers ready to go, opted instead to bring on utility infielder Mike McCoy to pitch the ninth inning. And sure enough, adding irony to injury, McCoy channelled his inner Tom Henke, retiring all three batters he faced.
“Earlier in the year, there was a blowout game and I said, ‘If you need me to pitch, I can,'” McCoy said of his conversation with manager John Farrell. “Save the bullpen a little bit, one inning, so he knew I could do it.”
McCoy threw mostly slow changeups from 60-76 mph, but mixed in a couple of sliders and topped out with an 85-mph fastball.
He said the goal was to throw the ball slow enough that Boston’s hitters would have a tough time making the adjustment.
In his first-ever appearance as a chucker in a major league game, McCoy left the game to a standing ovation—but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be solving the Jays’ bullpen issues anytime soon. Really, he likely won’t be taking the mound again for a while, if ever. But his brief foray on the hill was certainly a relief (get it?) to a group of pitchers who had seen plenty of action thanks to a rough stretch from the team’s starting rotation. For now, we’ll just enjoy the fact that for the time being, at least one pitcher on the Jays has a shiny 0.00 ERA.