Diamondbacks’ bullpen cart finally rolls into action

It took 18 games, but the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen cart has finally seen some regular-season action.

Houston Astros reliever Collin McHugh rode the bullpen cart when he entered the game Saturday night at Chase Field.

The Diamondbacks have had the cart ready to go since the start of the season, but no pitcher had elected to take it for a spin in a regular-season game before McHugh hitched a ride.

The cart took him around the warning track to start the sixth inning, dropping him off just outside Houston’s dugout. He then walked the rest of the way to the pitching mound and proceeded to pitch 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

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The reliever who replaced him, Joe Smith, decided to make the journey to the mound on foot.

“It was there, they provided it for us, so I decided to give it a shot,” McHugh said, according to The Associated Press. “I am still new to this whole bullpen thing so I don’t think I have too much of a routine to deviate from.”

The cart, which is the first use of a motorized vehicle in the majors in more than 20 years, was used by pitchers during exhibition games before the season and also has delivered warmup jackets to pitchers in the dugout after their outings during the regular season.