WATCH: La Stella makes pitching debut, forces Cardinals into double play
|2018-07-20 17:51:23.0- -||
CHICAGO — Needless to say, it is a bad day at the ballpark for a club when a position player is forced to pitch as early as the sixth inning.
Entering with the Chicago Cubs trailing 15-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the bottom of the sixth, Tommy La Stella lived up to his reputation as a utility player by pitching for the first time in his big-league career.
Two truths and a lie:— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 20, 2018
- Tommy La Stella is pitching
- We trail 16-1 in the 7th inning
- Just kidding, we’re winning 16-1 pic.twitter.com/l1mybt3A0O
Through one pitch, La Stella was perfect, as he forced Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to fly out to end the inning on a 72-mile-per-hour curveball. La Stella required some help on the play, though, as Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr., made the catch while leaping backward into the wall.
La Stella's luck ran out in the next inning when he gave up a leadoff home run to Greg Garcia as part of a three-hit frame.
Epitomizing the disastrous pitching performance from the Cubs on the afternoon, La Stella proved to be one of the more effective pitchers utilized by Chicago on the day.
Look at those numbers! pic.twitter.com/5O5CP2damz— Luke Kassmeyer (@LukeKassmeyer) July 20, 2018
Forcing Jedd Gyorko to ground into a double play in the seventh, La Stella, who became the first Cubs position player to ever pitch against the Cardinals, also made a few St. Louis hitters whiff on breaking balls that barely cleared the 50-mile-per-hour mark.
Tommy La Stella, Wicked 53mph Curveball. ???? pic.twitter.com/QUryLFypuM— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 20, 2018
La Stella exited after throwing 24 pitches in 1.1 innings of work, in which he gave up three hits and one run on the Garcia homer. He was replaced by another position player, as catcher Victor Caratini came off the bench to take the mound.
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