MLB Weekend Recap: Position players pitching in the same game, and the return of Roy Halladay

Jim McIsaac

Not much happened over the weekend. There were some baseball games. Some hits, home runs, errors, and wild pitches. Some teams were disappointed, and some were excited. The typical stuff.

That and the greatest game ever played.

But we'll get there. It leads off the weekend recap, in which we learn together about what happened over the weekend.

The Phillies and Diamondbacks played the greatest game in baseball history

At around 1:44 a.m. in Philadelphia, Casper Wells was warming up. He would not be the last position player to pitch for the Phillies in the game.

Okay, maybe that doesn't excite you. Maybe the "greatest game in baseball history" isn't automatically a game in which a position player relieves a position player. But I have a thing about position players pitching. And in the top of the 18th inning, with the score tied 7-7, new Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg called on Casper Wells.

This is the second time this season that Wells has pitched. He's pitched in more games this season than Daisuke Matsuzaka. But the last time Wells pitched, he was on the White Sox, doing this:

If you were wondering about position players pitching for two different teams in the same year, you have to go all the way back to ... 2012. Dewayne Wise did it for the Yankees and White Sox last year. It isn't that rare, apparently. But it should be.

For all the excitement, though, Wells's second outing didn't go nearly as well as his first. After two quick outs, Wells gave up a walk, a single, an intentional walk, and another single, ruining his once-spotless ERA. Then there was another walk and a two-run single, and at that point everyone in the ballpark went from being giddy at the goofiness of baseball to feeling bad for Casper Wells. It was kind of like this, but with more tears. It was hard to get excited for John McDonald, who came in to relieve Wells.

McDonald allowed an RBI single to Trevor Cahill, who was a starter relieving before he was a batter hitting against an infielder pitching. And at that point, you kind of understood why position players don't pitch more.

But at least there were Phillies who got to make these faces:

Screen_shot_2013-08-24_at_10 Screen_shot_2013-08-24_at_10

If you want factoids, AZ Snakepit has you covered. I just like looking at the box score. The Phillies were the first team since 2004 to walk 18 batters in a game, just one away from the record.

An aside: there was a team that walked 18 in eight innings once. There were just two pitchers in the game. Both pitchers were named Mickey.

That has nothing to do with the greatest game in baseball history, though. Which happened over the weekend.

Though, I must say, I watched the last hour of the greatest game in baseball history. It was pretty crappy baseball.

Maybe that wasn't the greatest game in baseball history.

Poor Casper Wells.

Roy Halladay is back

Well, it looks like the Phillies are the center of the baseball world these days. You might remember Halladay as someone who used to be the best pitcher alive. The Phillies do. And before they decide to exercise his $20 million option for 2014, they'd at least like a hint that he'll be worth it.

The early returns:

Solid. Lots of 86's, 87's, and 88's. But solid. The breaking stuff looked nice, and he kept the Diamondbacks off-balance. I can't imagine paying $20 million for it, but then again, I'm not emotionally attached to Halladay. He isn't likely to go anywhere, which means the Phillies are probably pretty pleased with the performance.

And that's the last thing we'll have to say about the Phillies this season.

The Phillies gave this out at the ballpark for '90s Night

Well, you can't ignore that. Except I don't know about you, but I'm mentally adding in little Phanatic dingly-danglies to that picture. Though I guess they could have gone with a Jane's Addiction album cover. No, this one will do just fine.

The Dodgers lost their series against the Red Sox

The last time the Dodgers lost a series: June 14-16 at Pittsburgh. Since then, the Dodgers had gone 14-0-4 in their series, with eight sweeps.

Which is to say, boy, they sure looked like a bunch of jerks against the Red Sox. Like, total fools. They couldn't even beat them in two out of the three games. Everyone look at the Dodgers, who are playing .333 ball over the last three games, which is worse than the Astros have played this season. Pfft. Fox was probably terrified of a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series after that display. Shameful.

(Not like the Chris Capuano games really count. But still.)

Nate Schierholtz had the worst three seconds of his career

Though I kind of like the GIF version:

It looked like a sniper got him before he even left the box, and then a sniper really did get him. Jesus Guzman is kind of a menace at first, but I still can't believe that happened. Or, maybe more realistically, I can't believe that doesn't happen all the time. Not just on plays at the plate, but everywhere around the diamond. Why is it so rare for baserunners to take a baseball to the face?

Whatever, just sit back and watch this version for an hour. It's mesmerizing right up to the point you jump out of a window.

Miguel Cabrera did this


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