Catcher Anthony Recker pitches in blowout loss
Mets catcher Anthony Recker harbored one regret Sunday after his major-league debut as a pitcher.
"I wish I could have gotten ahead of somebody so I could have thrown some off-speed stuff," said Recker, who allowed two runs in the final inning of the Mets' 13-2 loss to the Nationals.
Recker stuck with fastballs, topping out at 88 mph, after being asked to save the bullpen with the Mets hopelessly behind in the ninth inning. The Nationals scored six runs off Brandon Lyon in the eighth to blow the game open.
That prompted manager Terry Collins to make Recker the first Mets position player to pitch since Rob Johnson on May 18, 2012.
"It was just funny," said Recker, who gave up a two-run homer to Ian Desmond before retiring the next three batters on flyouts. "I mean, it's different. I just tried to have fun with it basically. There's nothing else you can do."
Recker last pitched at Alvernia College (Reading, Pa.), where he experimented with a knuckleball. He didn't use it in the game but threw one in warm-ups, and it moved so much that it nearly struck catcher John Buck in the chin.
Buck said he's had plenty of experience catching position players. "Yeah, I played for the Royals, man," he said. "It was not my first blowout."
Catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud (left foot fracture) is running but still feels some discomfort, which the team had expected. He is expected to return this season . . . Justin Turner (left intercostal strain) has been limited to playing catch and Lucas Duda (left intercostal strain) has yet to be cleared for baseball activity, a sign that both have a way to go in their rehabs.