A.J. Pierzynski is roughly 45,000 years old. 

He watched mankind transition from caves to yurts, stop eating cud for sustenance and develop vestigial organs. He played in the first game of baseball, using a raw, bone-in ribeye as a catching glove, and is now at an age where getting run down by other hieroglyphics like Bartolo Colon is something he has to deal with.

Over this period of tectonic plate movement and mountain formation, Pierzynski has developed a bag of tricks and a weird sense of humor. These are requisite characteristics for any lasting catcher, and he can’t help himself but try to get a yuck out of the umpires.

Thus we go to Monday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants, where the Atlanta Braves catcher played both hero and court jester during Atlanta’s 12-inning comeback.

The joking came in the top of the eighth, when David Aardsma bounced a pitch a comical distance from the plate. It wasn’t in the neighborhood of the strike zone, but Pierzynski tried his best to salvage the ball, framing the bouncer and holding it up in the sweet spot.

“Sure, it bounced, but look how perfectly it bounced,” he may have said to the home plate umpire. “That’s a bounce-strike if I’ve ever seen one.”

The umpire didn’t bite, unfortunately, because creativity is a little-rewarded virtue at the plate. 

In any case, Pierzynski dusted himself off and pulled out some clutch hitting on the night. He smacked a two-run homer off Santiago Casilla with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings.

The Braves would eventually win on an Adonis Garcia two-run homer in the 12th. 

After the game, Braves infielder Chris Johnson praised Pierzynski for dusting off his old bones and pulling out some magic.

“He’s been swinging the bat well,” Johnson told Matthew Bain of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s come up with a lot of big hits this year for us. That guy’s been around 20, 30 years in the major leagues. It’s about time he does something good.”

Pierzynski lives! As does the Braves offense! For now-ish!


Dan is on Twitter. He credits Pierzynski’s ability to withstand all extinction events.

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