I think it's safe and hyperbole-free to say there's nothing we enjoy more in professional sports than when a position player has to come on to pitch. There's always a mix of emotions - the game's already a blowout, so most players just want to get it over with and go home. But for the spot reliever, who probably hasn't pitched since high school, it just might be the highlight of his year. Take a look at the barely contained grin on Cuddyer's face, both before coming in and after he retires the side — that's a man who's forgotten that his team is down 15 runs, and is just thrilled to be pitching in the major leagues.
"Putting Cuddyer out there was a nightmare, but you have to put somebody out there and he would have killed me if I would have put anyone else out there," Ron Gardenhire said. "That was his one goal in his career was to pitch."
Cuddyer wasn't bad! (Position players rarely get knocked around on the mound. Maybe the other team takes it easy for themout of sympathy, or maybe baseball isn't much more complicated than "throw it down the middle and hope for the best.") He hit 88 on the radar gun and was one of two Twins pitchers who didn't give up any runs, even though his defense didn't do him any favors.