Chicago Cubs catcher Tucker Barnhart can actually be an effective pitcher behind that mask. (Watch the video below.)
Barnhart was an emergency fill-in on the mound at Wrigley Field as the Cubs were losing 8-0 and didn’t want to deplete their pitching staff. Lobbing slow, high-arcing throws that would seem more at home in a slow-pitch beer league, Barnhart required just six tosses to dispatch the Braves in the ultimately scoreless ninth inning.
Only Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. got a hit off him ― a single. But Michael Harris II (groundout), Ozzie Albies (pop-up) and Austin Riley (fly out) made Barnhart look like an ace reliever.
Barnhart was throwing what is sometimes called an eephus pitch.
He isn’t the first position player to try slow and steady as a relief pitcher and have it work.
But it’s still fun to watch when it does.