Whimsical, but effective
The Marlins (who have somehow now scored 34 runs in their last three games) exploded for a franchise-record 11 runs in the fifth inning against the Brewers on Tuesday night, which made it clear pretty early on that we’d be seeing a position player pitching in Milwaukee. Position players pitching are always a delight, but rarely as delightful as Hernan Perez’s work in the top of the ninth.
Perez employed a litany of zany mechanical quirks, shimmying and leg-kicking while not delivering a pitch over 75 mph. Oh, and he worked a 1-2-3 inning.
Perez, a veteran utilityman, is Milwaukee’s go-to mop-up guy, so he knew as soon as Miami busted the game open in the fifth that he’d probably be getting the call. He took advantage of the advance notice to do a little preparation. Not reading scouting reports, though.
“I went to YouTube to see some crazy mechanics,” Perez told reporters.
His glove wiggle was a nod to teammate Alex Claudio, a move Perez said he was thinking of employing for a while now. Manager Craig Counsell seemed to think the big leg kick was copied from Bronson Arroyo but Perez couldn’t remember who was on the YouTube footage he studied.
Perez got an extra buzz out of getting fellow Venezuelan Martin Prado to pop out. According to Perez, Prado actually asked manager Don Mattingly to come on as a pinch hitter just so he could face his buddy.
“I think he wasn’t going to hit but he told the manager to put him in,” Perez said. “Also, I didn’t know that he needed one more homer for a hundred in his career, so he won’t get it from me.”
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