Austin Romine never expected to pitch in a big-league game. And he certainly never expected to pitch in a postseason game.
But the Yankees’ backup catcher made his major-league mound debut in the ninth inning of Monday’s 16-1 loss to the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS.
“I didn’t envision myself getting into these playoffs in that role,” said Romine, who allowed a two-run homer to Brock Holt.
The Yankees were trailing 14-1 in the eighth when bench coach Josh Bard approached Romine and asked if he could pitch an inning. Romine said he could.
“Just trying to get it over the plate,” said Romine, who said he threw only fastballs. “Haven’t pitched since high school, so just trying to eat that inning up, you know? I would like to have fun with it, but really I was just trying to get out of the inning.”
Romine retired the first two batters as Xander Bogaerts grounded out to third and Rafael Devers grounded out to short.
Ian Kinsler walked and Brock Holt hit a two-run homer to right. It gave Holt the first postseason cycle in baseball history. Holt said he was trying to hit a home run.
Christian Vazquez lined out to Aaron Judge to end the inning.
Most times, a team gets a good laugh when a position player has to pitch. But the Yankees, who are facing elimination on Tuesday night, weren’t in a laughing mood.
"I don’t want to make too much of it,” Romine said. “The big story is we didn’t get the job done. Unfortunately, I had to pitch in that game.”