DENVER (AP) -- He shook off his catcher, experimented with a
split-fingered pitch and even made a couple of pickoff throws to
Aside from the two balls he threw to the backstop, it was hard
to tell Brent Mayne had no experience as a pitcher.
Mayne became the first position player to be a winning pitcher
since 1968 -- the year he was born -- working a scoreless inning
Tuesday night as the Colorado Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6
in 12 innings.
Mayne, a catcher, was called on for his first pitching
appearance -- professional or amateur -- after the Rockies ran out of
"I'd never been on the mound before in my life," he said. "I
was just firing it as hard as I could throw it and trying not to
get killed. ... "Most bizarre? Yes."
Mayne (1-0) wound up as the first major league position player
with a win since outfielder Rocky Colavito threw 2 2/3 shutout
innings for the New York Yankees against Detroit in the first game
of a doubleheader Aug. 25, 1968.
The last NL position player to get a win had been Pittsburgh
second baseman Johnny O'Brien, who allowed three hits in 2 1/3
scoreless innings against Philadelphia on July 3, 1956.
"It's been that long? I find that hard to believe," O'Brien,
69, said from his home in Seattle. "I'm sure he's very happy. I
know I was when I did it."
Adam Melhuse's first career hit, an RBI single with two outs in
the 12th, won it. Melhuse pinch-hit with the bases loaded for
Mayne, who was unable to bat because of a sore left wrist.
"When I saw it sail over the shortstop's head and hit the
outfield, I don't know what I was doing out there," said Melhuse,
who had been 0-for-6. "Then I saw (first base coach) Dallas
Williams point to first base and say, 'Touch first base.' "
Melhuse, who would have pitched if the game went to the 13th,
was the offensive hero, but Mayne left the field to a standing ovation.
He became the first position player to pitch for the Rockies, who
started play in 1993.
"Hopefully we won't have to use him there anymore," Rockies
manager Buddy Bell said.
John Rocker (1-1) took the loss and snapped at reporters in the
clubhouse. "Beat it!" he said. "I'm not talking."
Colorado used 10 pitchers, tying the NL record set by the
Chicago Cubs against Pittsburgh in a 17-inning game that began on
April 20, 1986, and was finished that Aug. 11.
In a bit of irony, Mayne's first batter was pitcher Tom Glavine,
who pinch hit for reliever Scott Kamieniecki.
"He's a better hitter than I am a pitcher. That's for sure,"
After bouncing a two-strike pitch behind Glavine, a .154 hitter
coming in (8-for-52), Mayne got him on a comebacker. Walt Weiss
flied out to center and Rafael Furcal singled.
Furcal moved up on a wild pitch and, after a walk to Andruw
Jones, Chipper Jones hit a routine grounder to third for the final
out -- completing one of the most unlikely pitching performances
ever at Coors Field.
"I shook him off a couple of times," Mayne said, referring to
catcher Ben Petrick. "I didn't feel real comfortable against Andruw Jones -- not because he was going to get a hit or something,
that was either going to happen or not. I didn't want him to hit
one back at me again and get me killed."
Said Chipper Jones: "It's a lose-lose situation. If you get a
hit, you're supposed to, and if you don't, you're a geek."
Mayne, 32, has been in the majors since 1990. He received hearty
congratulations after retiring Chipper Jones -- the reigning NL MVP
-- and got hugs and handshakes once the Rockies won.
"I'm sure stranger things will happen throughout the course of
time," Bell said, "but this probably ranks up as one of the
stranger things that I've ever been involved with."
Rocker entered the game in the bottom of the 12th and Neifi
Perez singled. Todd Helton, who went 1-for-4 and dropped his
average to .397, then singled to right, with Perez taking third.
Jeffrey Hammonds hit a soft liner to short center and Andruw
Jones, playing in, made the catch as Perez held.
Stan Belinda relieved and struck out Terry Shumpert, then
intentionally walked Jeff Cirillo. Melhuse singled to left on the
first pitch to drive in Perez with the winning run.
When asked about the most aggravating part of the game, Braves
manager Bobby Cox said, "Losing. That's what's aggravating."
Before Mayne, the last position player to get a decision as
pitcher had been Los Angeles third baseman Jeff Hamilton, who took
the loss as the Dodgers were defeated in a 22-inning game at
Houston on June 3, 1989.
Lost in the bizarre finish was an 11th-inning brawl that started
when Andres Galarraga, who spent five seasons in Colorado, charged
the mound after being hit in the shoulder by Rockies reliever John
Wasdin on a 3-2 pitch.
Galarraga was slowly walking toward first base when Wasdin
gestured at him. Galarraga rushed Wasdin, and the benches emptied.
Wasdin, Galarraga and Bell were ejected.
"If Galarraga's going to instigate, he's the one who should be
thrown out of the game," Bell said. "What's Wasdin supposed to
do? Run out into left field? It's unbelievable. Unbelievable."
Chipper Jones went 3-for-6 and hit his fourth homer in three
games for the Braves.
|Javy Lopez (8) joins his Braves teammates in a bench-clearing brawl that began when Rockies reliever John Wasdin hit Andres Galarraga with a pitch.|
Colorado OF Juan Pierre extended his hitting streak to 15
games, the longest to open a major league career in at least 25
years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Braves leadoff
hitter Furcal went 1-for-6 and is 3-for-32 in his last seven games.
... Before the game, the Rockies traded LHP Scott Karl and cash to
the Anaheim Angels for a player to be named.
Helton will get little rest in .400 chase
Walker's season in doubt after Rockies send him back to DL
NY Yankees 4
Kansas City 5
Tampa Bay 3
San Diego 16
NY Mets 1
Chicago Cubs 7
St. Louis 2
Los Angeles 14
San Francisco 5
Catcher Brent Mayne talks about getting the win in a desperate situation.
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