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Astros’ Noki Aoki makes pitching debut, retires Aaron Judge

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Friday’s game gave us on bright spot.

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Friday’s Astors-Yankees game stunk for Houston. The Astros lost 13-4. But the blowout brought the team one of the rarest blessings in baseball. A position player pitching.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch attempted to save his overtaxed bullpen by running out outfielder Norichika Aoki. It was the first time that Aoki had pitched in his six-year MLB career.

Nori will be happy to keep his day job after his first pitching outing. He threw one strike between his first two batters, walking Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade.

Aoki gave up a double to Chris Carter and retired Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury but allowed three runs in the inning.

The highlight of the inning clearly came from his final batter he faced. Aoki got rookie phenom Aaron Judge to fly out to center field.

A 35-year-old outfielder was able to get out a rookie with 27 home runs. What a time to be alive.

Here is Aoki’s inning in his native Japanese: