July 26, 2018

Rays Closer Plays Third Base During Four-Out Save Against Yankees

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Maybe this will clear things up:

Or not.

It is not often that the pitcher with the save is listed before the pitcher with the hold. Rays closer Sergio Romo recorded a four-out save against the Yankees yesterday afternoon. His manager, Kevin Cash, also had him play third base in the ninth inning of a one-run game.

In the top of the eighth, Romo - who has also started five games this season (Cash has also been using relievers as "openers") - came in with runners at first and third and one out. After a sacrifice fly cut Tampa Bay's lead to 3-2, Romo got an inning-ending strikeout.

Avery Yang, Deadspin:
For the bottom of the next inning, Cash had to choose: Leave Romo in to face a full slate, take him out entirely, or do some unconventional shit. He chose the third option and started the inning with Romo at third base. That way, reliever Jonny Venters could pitch to Greg Bird in a lefty-lefty matchup. Romo, who was the only position player on the entire left side of the infield, saw nothing hit his way. Bird grounded out to second base after four pitches.

Romo came back to the mound to secure the last two outs of the game and earned his 12th save of the season with ease.

Romo said the experience was "very, very fun":
I go back to about 20 years ago, to junior college, I played a little third base. Pretty interesting. The manager walks up to you and goes, "Hey, you're going to third base." Just kind of looked at him, and said, "What?" He said, "Just go to third base, we'll let you know after that."

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