Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Team China's utilityman catcher also got to pitch four innings against Japan

There are a few reasons why a team might deploy a position player on the mound. Perhaps the game is a blowout, and there's no sense in using up another pitcher. Perhaps it's late in extra innings, and there are simply no pitchers left. Or, perhaps, it's the World Baseball Classic and the team's star pitcher and fashion icon Bruce Chen is sick and missed the game -- which brings us to China's Weiqiang Meng.

Meng is listed as a catcher on the team's World Baseball Classic roster. He played left field in Pool B Game 2 against Cuba, and was the designated hitter for Game 4 against Australia. In Game 6 against Japan on Friday, he relieved Quan Gan in the fourth and pitched four innings, giving up two hits and striking out a pair.

For being a catcher/left fielder/designated hitter, his strikeout pitch sure made batters look silly:


Despite Meng's efforts, China lost the game, 7-1, and will have to qualify for the 2021 tournament. But in three games, Meng became the ultimate utility man.