Jean Catuffe/Getty Images | Washington Nationals/Twitter

The USWNT really can do everything. 

By Dan Gartland
July 26, 2019

The USWNT really can do everything

USWNT defender Ali Krieger and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris got to soak up the sights and sounds of Nationals Park on Thursday when Krieger was invited to throw out the first pitch before Washington’s game against the Rockies. They also got to step into the batting cages, where Harris showed off an impressive swing. Just listen to the sound of the ball hitting the barrel. 

“Of course she can swing a baseball bat, she’s a professional athlete,” you’re probably saying. But don’t you remember that video of Giannis Antetokounmpo embarrassing himself in the cages at Yankee Stadium by striking out against a tee?

Swinging a bat, especially a big leaguer’s wooden bat when you’re only 5'9", isn’t easy. 

Krieger is no slouch, either. Her first pitch was a strike right down the middle, despite her fiancée’s doubts. 

Maybe pitching is easier than it looks

Having exhausted all other options, the Orioles were forced to turn to outfielder Stevie Wilkerson to close out Thursday’s 16-inning marathon against the Angels. He managed to work a 1-2-3 inning and earn the save, becoming the first position player to ever do so

He did it by throwing about half as hard as most actual relievers. 

Wilkerson threw 14 pitches, 10 of them for strikes. They clocked in on the radar gun between 53 mph and 56 mph, plus two pitches to Albert Pujols that were apparently too slow to be picked up by radar. MLB’s pitch tracking system generously described them as curveballs. 

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