The Philadelphia Phillies fell short on Friday night, losing 4-3 to the Chicago White Sox in 15 innings. That’s all you might see when looking at the box score.
How the game reached that point was a series of events that almost had to be seen to be believed.
With his bullpen taxed and no position players left to call on, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was forced to get creative in the 14th inning. The option he chose was to bring in starting center fielder Roman Quinn to pitch, while inserting pitcher Vince Velasquez as the left fielder.
What followed was baseball at its weirdest and most unpredictable. Which is to say, baseball was at its best.
Upon his move to the outfield, Velasquez immediately became the star of the game and the talk of baseball thanks to his arm and his unexpected athleticism.
Showing off the cannon
In the 14th inning, the 27-year-old right-hander temporarily saved the game for Philadelphia by firing a perfect throw to catcher J.T. Realmuto to cut down Jose Abreu at home plate.
Abreu was attempting to score from second base on James McCann’s single, but he never really had a chance.
Vince Velasquez is a pitcher.— MLB (@MLB) August 3, 2019
He is playing left field.
He just threw a runner out at the plate.
You’re probably thinking that doesn’t happen very often.
Well, you’re right. The last time a pitcher recorded an outfield assist was way back in 1950.
The @Phillies' Vince Velasquez played left field tonight and threw out a runner at the plate.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) August 3, 2019
He's the 1st pitcher to have an outfield assist in a game since Ned Garver did so for the St. Louis Browns on 5/17/1950 (threw out Yankee pinch-runner Allie Reynolds at home in 9th).
So naturally, Velasquez almost did it again the very next inning.
This time Abreu singled to Velasquez in left field. His throw home to get Leury Garcia was every bit as strong and impressive as the first. It was just a smidgen late. Unfortunately for the Phillies, that would prove to be the winning run for Chicago.
Had it ended there, it would have been among the best stories in MLB this season.
It turned out Velasquez had one more trick up his sleeve. He finished the inning by making a diving catch on Eloy Jimenez’s sinking line drive.
This wasn’t a garden variety diving catch, either. It was Philadelphia’s first five-star catch of the season, according to Statcast.
Vince Velasquez's diving play in LF -- which had a 15% catch probability, per Statcast -- is the first 5-star catch by a Phillies outfielder this season.— David Adler (@_dadler) August 3, 2019
The level of difficulty was high. Yet Velasquez handled it without an issue.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be that surprised by Velasquez’s skills. After all, he was a star shortstop during his high school days in California. However, this was his first time doing anything other than pitching during nine seasons in professional baseball. It says a lot that he took to the outfield so effortlessly.
Outfielder takes the loss
The Phillies used seven regular pitchers before calling on center fielder Roman Quinn to pitch the final two innings.
It was Quinn’s second pitching appearance of the season after allowing two runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 15.
This time around, he allowed one run on three hits and three walks. Of course, the outfield defense helped keep that line from looking worse.
Quinn will take the loss on the stat sheet, but it was hardly his fault. In fact, he was a big reason Philadelphia was even still playing.
According to @EliasSports Roman Quinn became the 1st player in the Modern Era (Since 1900) to hit a HR, steal 2 bases and pitch in the same game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 3, 2019
Quinn also became the 1st @Phillies player with 2 stolen bases in a game since José Bautista on September 30, 2018. pic.twitter.com/ywvpLK9kib
That’s a winning night in our book.
It’s just that baseball doesn’t always go by the book. Sometimes it gets wild. Sometimes it gets weird. Friday’s game in Philadelphia was about as wild and weird as it gets.
More from Yahoo Sports: