On a day when the Blue Jays mailed it in on offense and pitching, Luke Maile delivered some much-needed comic relief. With his team down by 15 runs, the Blue Jays backup catcher took the hill for the second time this season.
Maile was the fourth position player in Blue Jays history to make multiple pitching appearances in a single season. He joined Bob Bailor, Jeff Mathis and Steve Tolleson in rare company as the only Blue Jays position players to make two or more pitching appearances.
At this rate, it won’t be long before Maile pitches again. Two months into the season and he’s been called upon twice already. Since Charlie Montoyo asked his backup catcher to save the bullpen twice this season, let’s scout Maile’s latest pitching performance against the Padres.
After missing on his first two pitches, Maile drops this beauty of a slider on the outside corner of the strike zone.
Hunter Renfroe had no answer to this 82 MPH fastball at the knees. To be honest, the call may have been a little low, but the ump (much like the fans) just wanted to get the hell out of there.
Maile then went to work against Wil Myers, who chased this “fastball” out of the zone for one of two swinging strikes for Maile in this appearance.
Ultimately, Myers was hit by a pitch; this blistering 65 MPH knuckleball to the rear end. I’ve ever seen a batter refuse to acknowledge a hit by pitch before, but that’s exactly what Myers did here.
Austin Hedges was the final batter that Maile faced in this appearance, and Maile dropped in this 60 MPH curveball as a “get me over” strike one.
Again, another suspect call on a pitch off the plate, but the umpire deemed it “close enough” for the second strike.
Maile nearly wrapped it up here as he reached back and topped out at 84 MPH. He thought he might’ve caught the corner, but it was called ball one.
Maile finished off Hedges with this inside curveball, called strike three, miraculously. In a 15-run game like this, there probably weren’t many Padres players who weren’t thinking, “yeah, that’s fine, can we go now?”
In the end, Maile walked away with his second scoreless appearance of the season, a pair of strikeouts and two swinging strikes versus the Padres. In a game where there was very little to celebrate, Maile’s appearance was a welcome distraction from the lopsided scoreboard.