Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Switching Pitchers

An interesting anecdote from David Nemec's annotated "The Official Rules of Baseball":

While outfielder John Kovenz of the Tri-City Braves was at bat in the ninth inning, pitcher Bill Wisneski of Victoria was removed when his first serving to Kovenz was a ball. Eric Gard came on in relief. As Gard wound up to make his first pitch, Kovenz stepped out of the box. When Gard paused in his windup, plate umpire Herman Ziruolo assessed him with a balk and waved the tying run in from third base.

Storming in from the moun to protest that he thought time had been called when Kovenz stepped out, Gard brushed again Ziruolo and was promptly tossed out of the game. Another Victoria reliever, Ben Lorino, then took the hill, finished pitching to Kovenz, and went on to blank Tri-City and earn credit for a ten-inning 10-9 win. Gard is only one of several hurlers to be thumbed from a game before they could pitch to the required one batter, but Kovenz may be the lone hitter ever to face three pitchers in a single turn at bat.

The book also mentions Robin Yount's brother, Larry. He got called up to the bigs, entered the game as a reliever, and hurt his elbow throwing his warm-up tosses. That was his only appearance in the major leagues - one game, zero official pitches thrown.

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