Carp makes pitching debut, throws knuckleball

Carp makes pitching debut, throws knuckleball
April 25, 2014, 12:30 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON - On the one hand, it had long been a goal of Mike Carp to pitch in a big league game.

On the other, it's never a good sign when a team resorts to using a position player on the mound, and it surely was not a good night for the Red Sox, who were pounded by the New York Yankees, 14-5.

Having already used three relievers to combine for 5 1/3 innings, the Sox turned to Carp in the ninth to save the rest of their bullpen.

He had an eventful major league debut, walking five, including one with the bases loaded to force in New York's final run, but also
getting a double play and not allowing a hit.

"It's kind of every little kid's dream'' said Carp of the bittersweet nature of the appearance. "But at the same time, tough ballgame to have
to go into. But it was good to save our bullpen.''

Bench coach Torey Lovullo approached Carp in the late innings and asked if he would be willing to give the team the ninth inning. Carp said he was ready to pitch in a game for the first time since high school.

On the mound, he mixed mostly knuckleballs with the occasional fastball.

"I always threw a knuckleball, but never on the mound,'' said Carp. "That was the first time ever on a mound.''

After walking Mark Teixeira, he got Brian McCann to hit into a double-play.

"That was cool right off the bat,'' said Carp. "I definitely thought things were going to turn out a little better than they did. But it was nice to get some swings and nobody hit the ball hard, so I feel like I did my job.''

But then he issued four consecutive walks before he got pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson to pop-up to David Ross for the final out.

"Obviously, I'm not taking it too seriously out there,'' said Carp, "but at the same time, I'm trying to get some outs. Unfortunately, I ended up walking a few guys. It was definitely a cool experience. Unfortunately, it was a bad situation to come into, but at the same time, it was fun to
do it.''

Carp became the first Red Sox position player to appear in a game since Darnell McDonald did so in 2012.

"It's definitely not (easy),'' said Carp of the task. "I prefer to hit. I'm never going to take up pitching, but it was definitely a cool experience to add to the resume. I felt like I was throwing pretty decent, just not the results I wanted at the end.''