Diamondbacks pitcher Slade Cecconi recorded his first career strikeout when his catcher José Herrera caught a ball with his groin. Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area Diamondbacks pitcher Slade Cecconi secures his first career strikeout, with an assist from recorded his first career strikeout with an assist from catcher José Herrera’s groin. Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Slade Cecconi made his Major League Baseball debut on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants. Cecconi struck out the first batter he faced, LaMonte Wade Jr., getting an unusual (and likely painful) assist from his catcher, José Herrera.

Initially, it looked as though Cecconi’s 3-2 pitch hit Wade. The ball ran in close to Wade’s hands and umpire Gabe Morales awarded first base. But upon further review, that’s not what happened.

The pitch actually hit the knob of Wade’s bat. From there, it went into Herrera’s midsection. And while the catcher was likely not feeling great at that moment, he managed to pin the ball against his crotch. Effectively, it was no different than a foul tip on a would-be strike three. If the catcher can’t corral the ball, it’s a foul ball. If he does, it’s a strikeout. And, since the ball does not need to be in the glove to be caught, Herrera’s crotch catch was good enough.

Baseball fans had a lot to say about this play.

Catchers have been known to do just about anything to get a strike for their pitchers. Still, we feel confident in assuming that Herrera would rather stick to more conventional pitch framing in the future.

[Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]

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