John McLarnan had to get ready quickly in this June 1988 game, according to The Toledo Blade. That's because his Maine Guide starter went down with injury.
He went on to pitch the next six innings and pick up the win, The Blade wrote.
"That's the second time this year that something like that has happened," McLarnan told The Blade afterward. "I just try to go at it like any other outing. I try to go right at the hitters and throw strikes."
McLarnan played that year in his sixth season as a pro. He ended up missing the next season and playing again in 1990. He didn't make the majors.
McLarnan's career began in 1983, taken by the Phillies in the 20th round of the draft out of San Jose State.
McLarnan started with the Phillies at short-season Bend. He went 3-5 in 15 outings, six starts, with a 4.02 ERA. He picked up one of those losses in a two-inning performance where he gave up two unearned runs.
He moved to single-A Spartanburg for 1984, improving his ERA to 3.03 in 30 relief outings. He picked up five saves, his first in May. At single-A Peninsula, he had a 1.48 ERA in 48 relief outings.
McLarnan made AA Reading in 1986, but he got into just 7 games total. That June, McLarnan went home to California to see a kidney specialist, according to The Reading Eagle, though the exact reason wasn't specified.
He made it back to the field for 1987, returning to Reading. In 46 relief outings that year, he picked up seven wins and 10 saves.
McLarnan moved up to AAA Maine in 1988. In 38 outings there, he had a 3.69 ERA. McLarnan missed all of 1989. He returned in 1990 for one final season at Reading. In 13 relief outings, he had a 6.64 ERA, ending his career.
McLarnan has since returned home to California. He appeared in a 2010 alumni game with San Jose State. That March, McLarnan also rooted on his daughter as her high school basketball team played for a state title.
- Toledo Blade, June 13, 1988: Phillies' McLarnan ready to pitch on moment's notice