If this whole pitching thing doesn’t work out, Joba Chamberlain has a future as a catcher. After entering the game as a reliever, he bounced a wild pitch off the backstop, but kept pinch-runner Felix Pie from scoring by blocking home plate with his gigantic body. Somewhere, Mike Scioscia shed tears of pride as Pie stretched a hand ineffectually at the base, while Joba body-blocked him towards his own dugout and calmly tagged him out. Disheartened, the Orioles never scored again, and the Yankees rallied to win in extra innings.
Joba’s control issues may give him plenty of chances to practice his plate-blocking on future wild pitches. Unfortunately, the Yankees do not face the Nationals this year, so Joba won’t get to face the ultimate challenge: blocking the plate against Nyjer Morgan. Well, not until Morgan gets released in a couple of months, at least.
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)