The Dodgers and Phillies settled their Tuesday night game Wednesday morning in a weird, historic way.
The Phils’ Trevor Plouffe lined a three-run home run off Dodgers utilityman Enrique Hernandez in the bottom of the 16th inning to give the home team a 7-4 victory.
End the night in style. #Walkoff pic.twitter.com/cdq1KHJ2dV
— MLB (@MLB) July 25, 2018
It turns out that Plouffe’s homer was historic.
STATS LLC says that was the first time in MLB history a full-time position player allowed a walk-off home run.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 25, 2018
Hernandez was in the game after the Dodgers had used closer Kenley Jansen for five outs in the 14th and 15th. Rich Hill, one of the Dodgers’ starters, was getting loose in the bullpen, but not to come into a tie game.
Rich Hill was in the bullpen only to pitch in a save situation. Caleb Ferguson threw 50 pitches two days ago, was unavailable.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 25, 2018
“You don’t want to compromise the starters going forward. They were on line for an extra day (of rest) and that’s what we wanted. They need that. It’s a decision you have to make and unfortunately we ran out of pitching in the 16th,” Dodgers manger Dave Roberts told reporters, per the Orange County Register.
Unfortunately for Hernandez, his versatility didn’t quite translate to the mound:
Kike Hernandez of the @Dodgers is the first player to play the infield, play the outfield and allow 3+ runs on the mound in the same game since Babe Ruth on October 1, 1921.
Ruth blew a 6-run lead but got the win in extras. It did not work out so well for the #Dodgers tonight.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) July 25, 2018
“I was thinking, ‘Just try to throw strikes. Just try to throw as slow as I could,’” Hernandez, who topped out at 85 mph, told reporters (per the Register). “But I wasn’t near the strike zone (he walked two batters ahead of Plouffe) so I had to try and put more on it. … I was going to try to give my team six or seven good innings. It didn’t happen.”
In addition to Hernandez’s historic “feat,” this contest produced a large collection of oddball facts and figures. Below is a quick rundown:
Counting Hernandez, the combined total of pitchers used, nine by each team. Vince Velasquez, one of the Phils’ starters, worked the 16th and got credit for the win. The Phillies also used a 10th pitcher, Zach Eflin, to pinch-hit.
Consecutive scoreless innings by Phillies pitchers. LA last scored in the top of the sixth when it took a 4-1 lead. The Phils tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Hits and at-bats for each team (that comes out to a .193 average).
Strikeouts by each team.
Golden sombreros in the game, two for each team. The Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson, and the Phillies’ Cesar Hernandez and Jorge Alfaro, all fanned four times.
Combined at-bats by Enrique Hernandez, Cesar Hernandez and the Dodgers’ Max Muncy. They produced no hits as each went 0 for 7.
Number of standing ovations for Chase Utley (give or take) on the second night of his last regular-season visit to Philadelphia. Utley singled as a pinch hitter in the 12th.
Hernandez became the 36th full-time position player to pitch in the major leagues this season. Those 36 players have combined for 42 total appearances. That figure does not include Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani’s nine appearances.
Combined ERA for those position players not named Ohtani (40 earned runs in 41 1/3 innings). Of course, putting up zeroes isn’t really the goal with these appearances: saving bullpen arms is. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, their position-player pitcher gave up runs AND took an L on Tuesday.