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Game 146 // Ninth Inning // Kinsler Pitches, Kinsler Homers

It’s Ian Kinsler’s first MLB pitching appearance.

And then he homers in the bottom of the inning.

 

 

 

 

The Padres are down 10-2 in the ninth, preserving their arms in the first of a three-game set to end the homestand. 

And so in comes Kinsler, off the bench, to pitch for the first time in his 15-year career.

 

 

 

Fastballs between 76-82 mph. Surprisingly sharp to the eye-test.

Then Machado starts calling for the curveball. Motioning for it, beaming, like he knows how little it’ll matter if the Rays notice—because hiding pitches won’t do a lot when Ian Kinsler is pitching.

But “Throw the dang curveball!” he’s begging with a grin.

 

 

 

So he pitches it, into the dirt, and another, and gets himself into a jam.

But a line drive to short turns into a double play. And another line drive gets snagged by Machado. Kinsler is out of the inning. Two walks, a single and a HBP—but no runs.

The most realistically pristine outing anyone could’ve hoped for.

 

 

 

And then, for the encore, the Padres have their turn to bat.

 

 

 

Kinsler comes up. Gets a Kinsler-tier meatball fastball over the plate.

Crushes it to left field for a two-run homer.

 

 

 

The kind of inning that echoes with that refrain:

Baseball is very, very weird.

 

In the very, very greatest of ways.

 

 

 

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