BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Danny Farquhar took the mound in a game again. That was more than enough on Saturday.
Farquhar’s spring training appearance for the New York Yankees was his first game since the 32-year-old reliever collapsed in the Chicago White Sox dugout on April 20 because of a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage. The right-hander got one out and was charged with five runs in an 8-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I felt great out there,” Farquhar said. “I was happy to be back on the mound. Obviously, the results weren’t great but I call it a good day. I felt like a baseball player, again.”
Farquhar allowed three hits and walked two while throwing 19 pitches in the fourth inning. He is in camp with the Yankees on a minor league deal.
“The fact that he’s on the mound and gotten to this point is pretty awesome,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I found myself a little more emotional than I even thought. Even though it didn’t go great, I think he really appreciated how special it was for him to be back out on a mound.”
Farquhar’s teammates moved to the top step of the third base dugout and clapped as he walked off the mound with his glove held in his right hand.
“It felt like for better or for worse they had my back,” Farquhar said. “It was nice to have that support. I’ve never been high-fived so much giving up five runs in my career.”
Farquhar’s wife, Lexie, and children Madison (7), Landon (3) and Liam (1) were among a dozen family members and friends at the game. Madison could be heard yelling “Daddy” from the stands.
“I heard them from the beginning,” Farquhar said. “My mom, my daughter. They were screaming.”
“I loved having my family here,” Farquhar added. “It means the world to have them here and see them after. Just to see how my wife was feeling, how my kids loved me. They didn’t care how good or bad I did today. It brings life into perspective on what’s important.”
Josh Bell started the inning with an opposite-field double off the wall in left. After Melky Cabrera lined out to right, a Kevin Kramer single was sandwiched between walks to Erik Gonzalez and Ke’Bryan Hayes.
“I thought it was good for him to get back out there and get the adrenaline pumping again,” said Austin Romine, who caught Farquhar. “I think he’s going to move forward with that.”
Farquhar’s day ended on first-pitch single by Steven Baron.
He said the game sped up on him.
“It was like, go, go, go fast,” Farquhar said. “It was hard to keep slow.”
Farquhar had surgery the day after collapsing last year and was hospitalized nearly three weeks.
“I can only imagine what he’s gone through and his family has gone through,” Romine said. “He’s a positive human being. I’ve got nothing but respect and admiration for what he’s done. It’s fun to see a guy fight all the way back and get that chance again.”
Farquhar has pitched in 253 games over seven big league seasons, going 10-15 with a 3.39 ERA and 18 saves for Toronto (2011), Seattle (2013-15), Tampa Bay (2016-17) and the White Sox (2017-18). He was 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA in eight innings over eight games last year.
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