Aug 6, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
The circumstances were not ideal with his team down eight runs at home, but on Wednesday night Nationals utility man Tyler Moore was afforded an opportunity he had lobbied and waited for for quite some time.
In the ninth inning of the Nats’ 11-4 loss to the Diamondbacks, Moore became just the second position player in team history to pitch in a game. The other time was also this season and it also came against the Arizona Diamondbacks. That honor was given to Clint Robinson, but Moore was happy to step in when called upon to save the Nats’ bullpen.
“It sucks after a loss. But the bullpen’s kind of taken some heat here lately and I was able to get a couple of outs. That was good for us,” Moore said.
Moore replaced lefty Felipe Rivero with one out and runners on the corners. His first matchup came against Paul Goldschmidt, one of the best players in baseball.
“Obviously when you look up and see Goldschmidt hitting it’s not real comfortable up there on the mound,” Moore said.
Moore got Goldschmidt to ground into a forceout at second base, but it brought Ender Inciarte home from third. Moore then hit Welington Castillo in the backside with a pitch before getting Aaron Hill to line out to second base for the third out.
Moore described the pitch that hit Castillo afterwards:
“It was a cutter. I hit him right in the back. Should have probably just thrown a fastball, but I tried to get cute.”
Moore pitching provided a moment of levity in an otherwise ugly game for the Nationals. Several of his teammates were able to find joy in watching Moore pitch, despite the circumstances.
“It was great. I love when position players pitch,” Bryce Harper said. “For the other team, not us because when that happens we’re losing pretty bad. But it was fun to see. Tyler, he likes messing around and throwing his cutter and curveball and joking around in the outfield sometimes. So it’s nice to see him go out there and get two quick outs.”
“Obviously under the circumstances it stinks, because we were losing,” Aaron Barrett said. “But it’s pretty cool seeing a teammate and a position player being able to pitch and get a couple guys out. I’m happy for it. It’s a big thrill for a position player to be able to come in.”
Moore was the 26th player to pitch for the Nationals this season. It came in an early-August loss, but Wednesday was a game Moore will surely never forget.
“It was always you wanted to get in when you were winning. That was kind of a bittersweet feeling. It was fun. It was fun. Glad I didn’t blow nothing out and threw some strikes,” he said.
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