Maddon jokes Ross' relief work and HR must be first since Babe Ruth
With the wild-card contending Chicago Cubs getting blown out Sunday by the last-place Philadelphia Phillies one day after being no-hit, and on the verge of being swept, catcher David Ross provided a little relief, and maybe even a release for the struggling club.
The 38-year-old backup catcher was summoned to take the mound to mop things up in the ninth. Making his second pitching appearance of the season, Ross responded with a 1-2-3 inning (his season ERA is 0.00).
The makeshift reliever then led off the bottom of the ninth with his first home run as a member of the Cubs. The Wrigley Field crowd went nuts.
Afterward, Cubs manager Joe Maddon put the feat in perspective.
"That's got to be the first time since Babe Ruth that happened, isn't it?" Maddon told reporters. "Position player pitches an inning and then goes and hits the home run. It was great for the fans. The fans were really engaged in that. Obviously a terrible day."
Maddon certainly has a unique way of managing and is known as a loose type of guy with a great sense of humor. If his using Ross in relief was a tactic to keep his team loose just as it blew a weekend series against a last-place team, well, we'll have to wait to see if it worked.
(h/t Daily Herald)