Nick Swisher can play at first base or in the outfield. Now, you can go ahead and add the mound to his repertoire. Sort of.
The New York Yankees' right fielder enjoyed a chuckle or two on the hill Monday during his team's 15-5 pounding by their newest nemesis, the Tampa Bay Rays. After a poor Chien-Ming Wang outing, the Yanks already-exhausted bullpen consisted of Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and Phil Coke.
Swisher (and his 4-seam fastball clocked at 80 mph even) was the only "hurler" to keep the Rays off the board.
The 28-year-old, who last pitched as a high school freshman, became the first Yankee position player to toe the rubber since Wade Boggs threw knuckleballs against the Angels in 1997. Swisher walked B.J. Upton to kick off the eighth, gave up a base hit to Willy Aybar, got Gabe Kapler to go down swinging, Carlos Pena to pop out, and Pat Burrell to fly out to center. As 3:10 to Joba put it, he's the Anti-Ankiel. Swish also homered in the fourth, his third of the season.
Catcher Jorge Posada was not impressed by the postgame clubhouse laughter, and called it "embarrassing."
The $423 million the Yankees spent this off season (not the first or by far the last time we'll mention that figure) was apparently not enough to buy a decent pitching staff.
[NY Times] | [Larry Brown Sports] | [Sliding Into Home]