The Cardinals just beat the Cubs 4-3 in the last of a three-game set, avoiding the sweep and earning one of those Important Victories that will be referenced when the team’s playoff readiness is discussed. It was an exciting game, complete with a three-run, eighth-inning rally and some spectacular play from both teams. But there was nothing wilder than Cardinals center fielder Randal Grichuk’s contributions to the game.
Grichuk just returned from a stint on the DL that was the result of a strained right elbow. He saw his first game action during yesterday’s loss, in which he hit a pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning. Perhaps a bit desperate to avoid a sweep and looking to get another reliable bat in the lineup, head coach Mike Matheny started Grichuk in center, despite that fact that he still can’t, you know, throw. No, really, he can’t throw:
This was all part of the plan, too. Grichuk was under strict orders not to throw with any effort, and Matheny was open with reporters about his team’s plans to deal with having a center fielder who can’t throw (via MLB.com):
“We walked through every potential scenario that could possibly happen and told him exactly what his expectation is,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We told the other players too what the expectation is, and he understands. That was the only way this will work, and it’s the only way it’s an option. He gets it and ... he’s concerned enough, too, to make sure he doesn’t do anything that sets himself back.”
Grichuk went 0-4 with three strikeouts. Baseball is a wonderful sport.