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Why Did Jeurys Familia Pitch Last Night?

It seems I don’t understand baseball as much as I thought I did.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox designated relief pitcher Jeurys Familia for assignment today. This is not Earth-shattering news; it will not be sharing headlines with the Ukrainian army’s eastern advance, or this inbred nob’s distaste of pens. This is because this news isn’t particularly surprising to anyone, because Jeurys Familia is not good at throwing baseballs. In the interest of full disclosure: I’m not particularly good at throwing baseballs either. So I’m not so much criticizing Familia here, as I am merely pointing out that if a human being is not good at the most important skill required of a baseball pitcher, said human being will likely not be retained by a baseball team that is attempting to win baseball games.

Indeed, there hasn’t really been any confusion about the fact that Jeurys Familia is not good at throwing baseballs. Prior to coming over to the Sox, he threw 34 innings for the Philadelphia Phillies. In those 34 innings, he yielded 48 hits, walked 15 batters, and hit 1. That’s almost two baserunners an inning. If you’re new to baseball, here’s something important to keep in mind: there are only four bases on the field, so two runners occupying two of them at any one time is not ideal. That’s 50% of the bases! That’s a lot of bases! Since coming over to the Sox, Familia has pitched 10.1 innings. In those innings, he yielded 10 hits, walked seven batters, and hit 1. That’s almost two baserunners an inning again! Wow! They should call him Ol’ Two-Baserunner Jeurys.

So anyway, we can probably all agree that Jeurys Familia is not good at throwing baseballs. And further, we can infer that the Red Sox also think that Jeurys Familia is not good at throwing baseballs, because they asked him to stop doing so on their behalf after the game last night. So there we have it, a basic logical premise that everyone, including the Red Sox, clearly agrees on:

Jeurys Familia = Not Good At Throwing Baseballs

So, in light of this obvious, universally agreed upon premise, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that in the highest leverage moment of last night’s game, the Red Sox did not ask Jeurys Familia to throw baseba—wait, what? Excuse me? What is this?

GAAAHHHHHH! That’s him! That’s him right there! That’s Ol’ Two-Baserunner Jeurys, throwing baseballs!

I’m so confused. Didn’t we just establish that he’s not good at throwing baseballs, and the Red Sox were aware of that fact, and that, as a team interested in winning baseball games, they would not ask him to do so, certainly not in the most high-leverage moment of a game against their biggest rival, while their third-best relief pitcher sat and watched, possibly right next to another relief pitcher who was recently called up, and who’s been pretty good in limited action, and who was called up specifically so that they could see how he would do in high-leverage situations as they attempt to determine whether he’s good enough at throwing baseballs to throw baseballs for the team next season?!? DIDN’T WE JUST ESTABLISH THAT?!?!

Man, this baseball thing is hard to understand.