The current incarnation of Purdue baseball may be struggling a bit, but up in the majors the Cleveland Indians are getting a nice early boost from a pair of former Boilers. On Saturday night Kevin Plawecki caught a perfect eighth inning from Nick Wittgren as Cleveland beat Atlanta 8-4. It was the first time Plawecki had caught Wittgren since the 2012 NCAA regional loss to Kentucky in Gary.
So very cool to see the all-#Purdue battery in an #MLB game finally become a reality today in Cleveland.— Purdue Baseball (@PurdueBaseball) April 20, 2019
Kevin Plawecki behind the plate as @N_Witt worked a 1-2-3 8th inning vs. Atlanta's 3-4-5 hitters (Freeman, Acuna, Markakis). #BoilerUp #RallyTogether
How rare is an event like this? Well, according to Purdue baseball’s Twitter this is the first time Purdue alums have been teammates at the Major League level since 1964. Plawecki has been a spot starter as the backup catcher and is batting .182 in 22 at bats with a home run and an RBI. Wittgren has been excellent with 9 strikeouts against just two hits in seven innings over five relief appearances. He has a save and has yet to give up a run. The save was the first of his career and came in a 1-0 win over Seattle last Wednesday.
Then there is this fun tidbit:
Only 2 players on the @Indians current active roster who have pitched this year have a 0.00 era.— Matthew Staudt (@mstaudt1589) April 22, 2019
Both are @PurdueBaseball alums.
Nick Wittgren: 7.0 innings|2 hits
Kevin Plawecki: 1.0 inning | 0 hits#BoilerUp
That’s right! Last night Plawecki made the third appearance of his career on the mound and threw a perfect ninth in an 11-5 loss to Atlanta.
It’s Sunday night & The feeling’s right for a....— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 22, 2019
( (> PLAYER
<) )> PITCHING
/ \ pic.twitter.com/KF1Cqo63MF
Plawecki made a pair of mound appearances for the Mets in 2017. He threw a scoreless inning against Cincinnati on August 29, and on April 30 of that year he threw two innings, but gave up three home runs in a 23-5 loss at Washington.
Hopefully both guys can stay up and we get a lot more of a Purdue-only battery this season. They are the only two players from Purdue currently in the Majors, but Cameron Perkins is hitting .273 for the Oklahoma City Dodgers in Triple-A, so he might get another look later on. He managed to get 88 at bats in 42 games with the Phillies two years ago.