In a scene straight out of your company’s annual softball game, an MLB umpire called balls and strikes from behind the pitcher’s mound on Tuesday. Tim McLelland positioned himself behind pitcher Wily Peralta in the first inning of Monday’s Spring Training game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. McLelland, in an effort to avoid a lengthy delay, filled in for home plate umpire Seth Buckminster when he was forced to exit the game after taking a pitch off his hand.
Anthony Johnson was tasked with the duty of changing into Buckminster’s gear to continue calling the game from behind home plate, but McLelland took the opportunity to keep things moving by making a rare appearance behind the mound, via MLB.com:
“Just keep it moving,” McClelland said. “We didn’t want people to sit. Both managers agreed to it, and I knew it wasn’t going to be long. This way we didn’t have to sit and could keep the game going.”
Peralta noted that it had been more than a few years since he last pitched with an umpire behind him:
“I don’t remember the last time I was pitching like that — probably Little League when I was, like, 13 years old,” said the Dominican-born Peralta. “It just forgot about it and [focused on] the hitters. It felt a little weird when he called, ‘Ball!’ behind me. It was like, ‘Oh, God!’”
Hey, it beats pitchers and catchers calling their own balls and strikes.