Romine brothers battery brightens rough day for Cubs
Austin Romine didn't exactly walk out of the corn, but he did hustle to Wrigley Field from the Iowa Cubs on Thursday, a replacement for Willson Contreras, who went on the injured list with a knee sprain.
Then the Cubs capped off a 17-4 loss to Milwaukee with a somewhat memorable moment. Andrew Romine moved over from shortstop to pitch the ninth inning while Austin came in to catch his older brother.
"The only other time that we did that was high school," Andrew said after the game. "I was a senior, he was a freshman, He caught me a couple times in high school."
The Romine brothers went to Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo, Calif. They have a combined 21 years of major league experience, while father Kevin spent seven years with the Red Sox in the '80s.
"We weren't even sure if we were ever going to be on the same team in the same organization," Andrew said. "So today was a surprise, I didn't know he was getting here in time for the game today. So to be able to see him in the dugout was pretty cool. Then obviously to have him catch while I pitch, it was kind of like throwing the ball around backyard and playing whiffle ball, almost."
Austin Romine was expected to be the Cubs backup catcher this season, but he went on the injured list after playing in six games. This was his first appearance for the Cubs since April 25. Andrew spent most of the season in Iowa, then was called up after the Cubs flurry of trades two weeks ago.
"When I got to tell Austin he was going to be catching Andrew, I think if you guys could have seen his face light up in that moment, that was kind of the highlight of the day for me," manager David Ross said. "I think he was really excited about that."
It wasn't perfect. Romine gave up 2 hits, including a home run by Luis Urias, but retired the side with just 1 run scored. It looked like Romine was throwing knuckleballs, including the pitch that was hit for a home run.
"I threw a couple knuckleballs," he said. "(Austin) didn't call for anything. He said just throw it, just throw the ball. I kind of just mixed between that and a couple just get over the plate so we can throw some strikes and get out of here."