I am a big fan of the Dan Patrick radio show. It is a quick paced breezy radio sports talk show that is good background while I work at my lap top each week day morning. He always ends his show just before the noon hour with the question of “What did we learn today”. It is an informative, sometimes funny way to end the show. All of his sidekicks whom he calls “The Danettes” chime in with what they learned new on the show during the previous three hours.
Baseball is a lot like the Dan Patrick Show. There is always something new to learn. After every game I seem to learn something or see a play I have never seen before. This week was no different. Especially some of the things accomplished this week by all purpose super sub, Reading’s Tim Kennelly. TK as he is known has played all positions for the Phillies in his minor league career except possibly shortstop and probably has hit in all spots in the batting order on his way up the Phillies organization’s ladder.
Recently, Kennelly has been moved to the lead off spot and has hit well there. So far in June he is hitting .400. Last Sunday’s game against Harrisburg was special though. He went four for four with two home runs. What made it special was he led off the game with a homer and then hit a walk off home run to win the game in the bottom of the 9th inning. We do not know if that was ever done in the Eastern League before but this week a sports blog, MLB Trade Rumors, said that in the history of the major league baseball it has happened only four times. The most recent lead off and walk off home runs hit by the same person in the same game was Reed Johnson back in 2003.
Last night in Reading Kennelly was in the middle of an other baseball situation that rarely ever happens. With the second game of a twin bill against Akron tied at 4-4, Reading’s manager had no pitchers left in the bullpen and wild man Juan Murillo on the mound, things were looking bleak for the R-Phillies. Murillo as usual could not throw strikes and walked the bases loaded. Next, the lead run scored on his wild pitch. Manager Dusty Wathan had seen enough and called over from first base Tim Kennelly to get the final out. He got only the customary eight warm up pitches to try to get out of a bases loaded, two out jam with the game still close and late. TK did walk in another run but struck out the next batter to get out of the inning. According to the Reading Eagle’s account of the game TK’s fastball was hitting 94 mph on the Stadium scoreboard. Not bad for your first baseman who played third base in the first game.
Last season TK was Reading’s backup catcher. In the past he was a Florida State League Mid Season All Star left fielder. For the Australian National team he has played right field which with his strong arm I believe is his best position.
I have been following minor league baseball for a long time. Never have I seen a position player already in the game come in to pitch with the bases loaded in a one run game; in a non injury situation and throw 94 mph fastballs to get out of the inning. Not many position players at any level in the same game have thrown 94 mph heat and while hitting .400 for the month.
A tip of the hat to Tim Kennelly. I learned again today that he has major league ability just about every where on the field. Would seem to me that the Phillies could find a role for him some where, maybe every where with his skill set on the major league roster in the near future.