Cardinals Second Baseman Aaron Miles is a fine player - he's batting .284 for the season. But he can now add another element to his resume, as he's now a major league pitcher. Make that one with a .000 ERA.
In the midst of a 12-1 blowout loss to the Washington Nationals, Miles took the mound for the eighth inning. There's no pressure when you're down big. But there is when it's your first pitching outing since you were 14 years old.
When you're down that bad, it's not always worth it to waste your bullpen. I guess it also gives you a sense of humor.
"I didn't know who to pitch and (pitching coach Dave) Duncan said: 'Who's our shortest reliever?' That's pretty obvious, it's Miles," LaRussa explained of the move. "So you're right, Dunc. I applaud him for his sense of humor when we're getting our butt beat like that."The most famous incident of a position player coming in to mop up a loss has to be from 1993, when Texas Rangers outfielder Jose Canseco convinced Kevin Kennedy to let him pitch the end of a meaningless game. He ended up blowing out his arm.
Miles fared far better. He threw nine pitches, and retired the side in order. Nationals sluggers Ryan Zimmerman, Dmitri Young and Austin Kearns had nothing on Miles, at least for once.
Miles couldn't seem to believe it either.Rick Ankiel has has pretty good success going from pitcher to outfielder. Could we see Miles doing the reverse move? Unlikely, but after a perfect outing it makes you wonder.
"I've never done that before so I didn't think it would go that smoothly, that's for sure," Miles said with a grin. "I was just throwing the old sinkerball that I turn the double-play with usually. It's amazing that I got out of the inning without anybody getting on, but I've got to give it up to the bullpen," Miles concluded. "They told me the slower you throw, the better, and they were right."