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Jason Pearson: Two-team two-game wonder


Nearly six years after Sean Mulligan's lone major league plate appearance, Jason Pearson became the fourth two-game wonder in Padres history. Coincidentally, Pearson also became the fourth Padres player to wear number 59, the same number Mulligan wore. A left-handed relief pitcher by trade, Pearson was just a year and a half removed from playing independent ball in Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, when the Padres promoted him from Portland on June 3, 2002.

Pearson made his major league debut the very next day. The Padres were trailing the visiting Giants 3-1 in the top of the ninth inning when he was summoned to face left-handed hitter J.T. Snow with one out and the bases empty. The veteran first baseman, who abandoned switch-hitting a few years earlier, worked the count to 2-1 before lining out to right fielder Bubba Trammell. Padres manager Bruce Bochy stuck with his rookie despite a right-hander being due up next. Pearson rewarded his skipper's faith by getting third baseman David Bell to ground out to his counterpart, D'Angelo Jimenez. Giants closer Robb Nen then took care of the Padres in the bottom of the ninth, and that was the ballgame.

Three days later, with the Padres across the country in St. Petersburg, Pearson was called on to protect an 8-3 lead. Before the eighth inning, he and Trenidad Hubbard entered the game in a double-switch, replacing Trammell and Brian Lawrence. Devil Rays first baseman Steve Cox greeted them both rudely, lining Pearson's second pitch right out of Hubbard's reach for a double. Thoroughly unfazed, Pearson proceeded to strand Cox at second by striking out Ben Grieve, Aubrey Huff, and former Friar John Flaherty. Nobody knew it at the time, but that was Pearson going out on a high note.

The next day, Pearson was placed on waivers, and was claimed by the Giants shortly thereafter. He spent the rest of the season with their AAA affiliate in Fresno without being called up to San Francisco, and signed with St. Louis as a free agent after the season. Pearson also pitched in two games for the Cardinals, and never returned to the majors after his disastrous second appearance in red.

...I'm sure the notoriously morally-superior-to-you Cardinals fans -- the best fans in baseball, just in case one of them hasn't told you lately -- had nothing but the nicest things to say about him after that.