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Jason Lane made his starting debut today. He lost, but pitched pretty darn well

Jul 28, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT

Jason Lane AP

Jason Lane spent seven seasons as a hitter. Not a terrible one, either. He posted an .815 OPS, hit 26 homers, and had 78 RBI in 145 games for a pennant winner in 2005. But after that he crashed hard and was done as a big league bat.

He reinvented himself as a pitcher in the Padres organization and was called up in June. Today he got his first start at age 37. And it wasn’t half bad: six innings pitched, six hits, one earned run, two strikeouts and a couple of walks. He also went 1 for 2 at the plate. He didn’t get the win, however, as (a) he was backed by the San Diego Padres’ offense; and (b) Ervin Santana tossed eight shutout innings while striking out 11.

But regardless of what happened with the decision, give it the heck up for Jason Lane. A guy who had every reason to pack it in six or seven years ago but didn’t. A guy who started from scratch and then scratched his way back to the bigs. That’s some serious moxie. And quite a story.

  1. yahmule - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I have a feeling this guy loves baseball as much as everybody on this board combined.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Speak for yourself Mule. If I could marry Baseball I would. And my Wife knows it.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        So… you’re saying you settled for less?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        Lol! No. YOU said that. But yeah…she knows where she stacks up when it comes to Baseball.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Well done Jason.

  3. timmmah10 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    He deserved better from his offense… even in a loss I bet this guy is feeling pretty good right now.

  4. stlouis1baseball - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Great job Jason Lane!
    If I could overcome my unhealthy objection to purchasing non-Cardinals jerseys…yours would be my first.

  5. tmc602014 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Good for Jason. And granted the small sample but his slash line is probably better than any of his teammates.

  6. Dan - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    This is my favorite story of this season.

    • jilljulias - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      Mine too. I’ve been kind of following it from earlier in the summer when they called him up and he pitched 4 scoreless, then needed roster space and DFA’d him which landed him back int their minor leagues.

      I hope they keep him until the season ends.

  7. icanspeel - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I think this is proof the Padres can take anyone and turn them into a pitcher.. but hitters disappear.

    • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Well, they knew they could take hitters and make them hit like pitchers….they were just trying to confirm that they could also make them throw like pitchers.

  8. sanzarq - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Great story. Hope he hangs around. He definitely earned another start!

  9. maddog11896 - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    Not sure why, but whenever I see stories of guys making comebacks like this, I always think of Mat Gamel formerly of the Brewers and all the bad luck he’s had. He demolished minor league pitching his first few years in the minors, but his path to the majors was blocked by Bill Hall occupying 3rd base for the Brewers. Hall began to scuffle and Gamel finally got his chance but he hurt his wrist, so they gave the job to Casey Mcgehee in the meantime. Instead of being a filler, Mcgehee became an integral part of the 2009 and 2010 Brewers teams, again blocking Gamel at 3rd. 2011 came around and Mcgehee scuffled, but Gamel remained in the minors, instead working on becoming a 1st basemen to prepare for the inevitable departure of Prince Fielder. Fielder left the Brewers via free agency after the 2011 season, and the 1st base job was Gamel’s to lose coming out of spring training. He didn’t do great, but he didn’t do poorly to begin the 2012 season before tearing his ACL in mid May and being lost for the remainder of the season. Gamel trained and prepped and got ready for the 2013 season, but in spring training he re-tore his ACL and would miss the 2013 season as well. He was claimed by the Cubs that winter and released, but signed with the Braves for 2014. Sadly, during spring training he got hit in the shoulder with a batted ball that would cost him 4 to 5 months of the season, so he was released by the Braves.

    The story of Mat Gamel

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