Erick Aybar is the best pitcher we have!! pic.twitter.com/sLM0FQl75d
— Joel Padilla (@JoelPadilla) April 19, 2017
The Diamondbacks’ eight-run lead on the Padres left San Diego with no second-thoughts about waving the white flag.
There would be no over-taxation of the bullpen late in the first game of the teams’ series on Tuesday night. And with that, San Diego manager Andy Green first went to catcher/pitcher Christian Bethancourt in relief.
Bethancourt, who is attempting to transition into a relief pitcher this year, struggled like his teammates before him and ended his evening with two unearned runs and two outs in the ninth.
So San Diego turned to veteran shortstop Erick Aybar to earn the final out in the top of the ninth inning with his team trailing 11-1.
Aybar threw a 65-mph first-pitch strike to the D-backs’ Chris Herrmann, and Herrmann then fouled off a 66-mph heater before finding weak contact on a 59-mph pitch that led to an out.
This was enjoyable … as enjoyable as a shortstop making his pitching debut can be.
Padres fans had takes ranging from cynical to joyous after Aybar’s appearance in the 11-2 Arizona victory.
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