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Web Gems

Brett Phillips delivered the greatest pitcher* web gem in American history on Monday

The Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips is not a pitcher, but sometimes he plays one on TV. Usually Phillips can be found roaming the Trop outfield, but on Monday, with the Rays down big and trying to save some bullpen arms (yes, less than five days into the season), Phillips took to the mound for one of baseball’s most beloved treats:

The position player pitching.

Things began like might expect, Phillips lobbing 46-mph matzo ball after 46-mph matzo ball over the plate as big league hitters floundered, wrestling with the velo drop and the overwhelming desire to tank one into the rafters. Then Seth Brown stepped to the plate and the baseball Gods picked up their brushes and painted a masterpiece. Behold.

If that’s not in the single digits of the greatest pitcher* web gems in baseball history, then we’re one of Wade Boggs’ beer cans. Brown foul tips the pitch and Phillips reads it immediately. He’s off the mound like a shot. He rumbles all the way into foul territory, to the track, and slides, drifting gracefully across the turf as the ball plummets out of the sky and into the gentle caress of his glove. Then he pops up and puts some sauce on it. It’s absolute poetry.

The baseball purists might try to slap an asterisk on this on account of Phillips not being an actual pitcher and all. But this is baseball in the year 2022. If asterisks bother you, stop watching. Us on the other hand? Let's just say the next time Phillips takes the bump, we’ll be tuning in.