Matt Davidson was supposed to have an off night Friday and he didn't bat, but he still managed to be the most fun part of the White Sox loss at Texas.
With the White Sox getting pummeled, Davidson came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning. Not only did he have a 1-2-3 inning, but he did so in style.
After a first-pitch ball, Davidson got Ryan Rua to pop up to shallow right on the second pitch. Cool, good start by the position player. Not bad, Matt. Way to not get totally embarrassed out there.
But that wasn't enough. Davidson battled with Carlos Tocci for a six-pitch at-bat before Tocci hammered a ball back at Davidson. This is where Davidson's third base instincts kicked in.
Davidson caught the liner, which was off to Davidson's right. He had to reach across his body to snag it with his glove. A legit web gem. Not bad for a guy who has been used mostly as a designated hitter this year.
Matt Davidson can do it all! pic.twitter.com/Ncl4gojNpe— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) June 30, 2018
That was the best highlight, but Davidson had to prove he was more than just a good-fielding pitcher. It was time to bring out the nasty stuff.
Next up was Rougned Odor, who combined to hit 63 home runs in 2016 and 2017. He can hit major league pitches a long way, but has he faced anything like Matt Davidson's offspeed stuff?
It sure didn't look like it. Davidson got Odor to whiff on a 79 mph offspeed pitch and then a 72 mph offspeed pitch. The insanity meter for this at-bat went up a notch when Davidson brought out the heat for the 0-2 pitch. He threw what MLB.com's pitch-by-pitch called a 91.9 mph fastball. It was way out of the zone, but Davidson was just setting Odor up.
After Odor fouled off another curve, Davidson got Odor on the next one. Three swinging strikes.
Secret weapon. pic.twitter.com/i6Xdqjbr2e— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 30, 2018
Recent strikeouts by #WhiteSox position player pitchers— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 30, 2018
Tonight Matt Davidson (Rougned Odor)
9/15/15 Leury García (Jason Pridie)
7/31/15 Adam LaRoche (Brendan Ryan)
6/28/13 Casper Wells (Asdrubal Cabrera)
6/16/90 Steve Lyons (Steve Howard)
In one of the more horrifying stats of the night, Davidson had more strikeouts than starting pitcher Dylan Covey, who didn't get any strikeouts in a third straight rough start. Davidson had three swinging strikes in 13 pitches. That's as many as actual reliever Juan Minaya had in 16 pitches, more than Chris Volstad had in 58 pitches and one shy of Covey in 74 pitches.
After the game, Davidson talked about the experience, saying it was "a dream come true," courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times reporter Daryl Van Schouwen.
Matt Davidson postgame. pic.twitter.com/ul98QgpUDF— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) June 30, 2018
NBC Sports Chicago's Chris Kamka compiled a list of position player to pitch for the White Sox since 1990:
6/29/2018 Matt Davidson
9/7/2017 Rob Brantly
6/8/2016 J.B. Shuck
9/15/2015 Leury García & Alexei Ramírez
7/31/2015 Adam LaRoche
8/5/2014 Adam Dunn
4/16/2014 Leury García
6/28/2013 Casper Wells (Game 1 of a doubleheader)
9/4/2012 DeWayne Wise
8/4/1995 Dave Martinez
6/16/1990 Steve Lyons
#WhiteSox position player pitchers (1980-present)— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 30, 2018
13 appearances, 4.05 ERA, 13.1 IP, 10 Hits, 11 Walks, 5 Strikeouts