Coke began his career with the Yankees. The lefty then was moved to Detroit as part of the 3-way Max Scherzer trade. He pitched most of his career innings with the Tigers from 2010-2014. He bounced around to a few other teams after that before going to Japan last season.
Detroit Tigers reliever Phil Coke served up a great quote on Tuesday night after serving up a big home run to Adam Dunn in the 9th inning of Detroit’s 8-6 win.
Coke came in to close out the game with an 8-4 lead. He struck the first two batters out, then allowed a double, single and 3-run home run to Adam Dunn. The homer to Dunn came with an 0-2 count and after a pitch didn’t break the way Coke wanted it to.
The lefty explained after the game that catcher Alex Avila called for a slider to Dunn, but he didn’t get on top of the pitch, so the movement mimicked a two-seam fastball where it runs in to a lefty, rather than breaking away like a slider should. The great part came when Coke described the pitch as an “incidental” two-seamer instead of an “accidental” two-seamer.
From the Macomb Daily:
“That’s what Alex (Avila, the catcher) said. It came back to him. It was like I threw an incidental two-seamer,” Tigers reliever Phil Coke said.
Don’t you mean ‘accidental?’
“No, it was an incident, because he hit that a long way. Somebody almost died,” Coke joked. “There was an incident in the outfield seats.”
I’m still pretty sure he meant accidental, but that quote is fantastic.
Oh, and good for Dunn — he had been 0-for-6 with 4 strikeouts in his career against Coke until that homer. It’s about time he got one.
Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Phil Coke has emerged as a key figure during the team’s playoff run this season, and one of the byproducts has been the public getting to know his cool personality. Take for instance the video above.
Deadspin shared this brilliant clip with us on Friday, and it’s from an interview Coke did with MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk” with Kevin Millar and Chris Rose last week. In the clip, Coke talks about the time slugger Miguel Cabrera asked him if they had ever faced each other as opponents.
Coke spent two seasons with the Yankees (2008-2009), and he has been with the Tigers since then. The two faced each other once, and it came in 2008 during Coke’s rookie season and Cabrera’s first year with the Tigers following his trade from Florida.
Coke told the story while imitating Cabrera perfectly, nailing the All-Star’s confidence and accent. He also delivered the ultimate punchline.
“I don’t remember horsecrap pitchers.”
So awesome. And if you’re wondering why Coke remembers the at-bat so well, it’s because that was his first career appearance. Coke faced four Tigers batters and gave up a hit while striking out two in a scoreless inning, punching out Miggy to end his first career inning. Cabrera went 1-for-5 with a home run off Edwar Ramirez that game. Here’s the boxscore in case you were curious.