It's never a good sign when an MLB position player needs to pitch for their team, and it's an even worse sign when that position pitcher needs to pitch four innings like Cleveland Guardians catcher David Fry had to on Monday.
During Monday night's game between the Guardians and Minnesota Twins, Guardians catcher/utility player David Fry pitched four innings and threw 64 pitches in a 20-6 victory for the Twins. Fry entered the game in the sixth inning after Guardians starter Lucas Giolito — who was making his team debut after Cleveland claimed him off waivers from the Angels last week — conceded nine earned runs in three innings.
The Guardians have brought in catcher David Fry to pitch in the 6th inning pic.twitter.com/tRFGyQKxYt
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 5, 2023
Considering that the Guardians were already losing 11-1 by the time Fry entered to pitch, the move was clearly a wave of the white flag, with the Guardians hoping to preserve their bullpen for the coming days. But that didn't stop the Twins from teeing off.
Fry gave up seven runs on 10 hits — including three homers — throughout his four innings of work. Of course, Fry's objective wasn't to win the Cy Young. The goal was, in Fry's own words, "trying to save [the bullpen]. Who cares what I do?"
Well, the Guardians clubhouse and fan base care what he did — if only because his selflessness has given them a chance to win in the coming days.
We also care because Fry's appearance made history. According to MLB.com, Fry's 64 pitches were the second most by a non-pitcher since pitch counts began getting tracked in 1988 — only trailing Jose Oquendo's 65 thrown on May 14, 1988. Fry's four innings were also the most by a non-primary Cleveland pitcher since right fielder Milt Galatzer pitched on Aug. 26, 1936.
Since Fry was lobbing eachCleveland Guardians position player David Fry (12) delivers a pitch to the plate during the sixth inning of the Major League Baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians on September 4, 2023, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH pitch in, he also became the first pitcher in the pitch-tracking era to throw 30 pitches under 60 miles per hour in one outing. In other words, he's now the slowest pitching pitcher in baseball history. It's probably not a record Fry — who's primarily a backup catcher — ever thought he'd earn.
One must respect Fry's willingness to sacrifice his stats for the team's sake. Luckily, Fry's arm won't be sore, since he was throwing so slow. However, his neck might hurt from all that twisting around to watch balls fly over the fence.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.