With runners on first and third and one out in the top of 10th in Atlanta, Bobby Cox replaced pitcher Chris Resop with Royce Ring to pitch to Adam LaRoche. Resop moved to left field to replace Matt Diaz. After Ring struck out LaRoche, Resop moved back to the hill to face Xavier Nady. Gregor Blanco then entered the game as the new left fielder.
Resop then gave up a single to Nady to put the Pirates ahead 4-3. The Pirates won the game by that score.
Paul Richards, then the manager of the Chicago White Sox, is believed to be the first manager in the major leagues in modern times to pull off a switch like this in order to save a relief pitcher. There were numerous instances in the 19th Century of players switching positions between the mound and the field although that was easier in that era when many players played multiple positions.
Peter Morris in his book Game of Inches, describes a 1909 White Sox-Senators game in which Washington manger Joe Cantillon used four pitchers in a 17-inning tie and rotated many of them between the mound and the field, although his moves were not as much strategic as they were out of necessity. The game finished in a 1-1 tie despite Washington’s pitchers giving up 13 hits and nine walks.
As Timmerman points out, Cox’s moves were reminiscent of Davey Johnson’s impromptu right-field/P platoon of Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell during a Mets 14 inning win over the Reds in June of ’86 that’s also recalled for the incident above. I’ll bet Nancy Lopez never sucker punched anyone on the golf course.
Tim Raines might well agree, but Micah Owings might as well skip spring training next year.
Florida won their second game of the week via a walk-off HR moments ago, this one coming off the bat of former Met Mike Jacobs, who took Pittsburgh’s Franquelis Osoria into the rightfield seats for a 4-3 Marlins victory. Earlier, Pirates C Ryan Doumit hit a two-run HR off Florida starter Scott Olson, along with a pair of singles raising his average to .533. It cannot possibly be too early for BBTN’s Eric Young to try to assess Doumit’s chances of hitting .500 for the season.