Outfielder J.B. Shuck tried his hand at pitching, hit 91 mph, retired Bryce Harper
Down, 10-0, to the Nationals on Wednesday, the White Sox decided to call upon someone other than a pitcher to take the mound in the top of the ninth inning. Somebody who had never toed the rubber in The Show before.
Outfielder Jack Burdett Shuck III, or as you and I know and love him, J.B.
Although he gave up a leadoff double to Danny Espinosa and a run on a fielder's choice, Shuck was hitting 91 mph with his fastball and (AND!) he retired reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper on a groundout to first. That is something J.B. can tell his grandchildren someday:
Shuck, who gave up no runs in one inning of Triple-A relief work in 2012 and logged innings during his three years at Ohio State, talked to MLB.com's Scott Merkin about his performance after the 11-4 loss.
"I started for three years [at Ohio State]. It was an adrenaline rush. You joke around about it all the time, but you get out there and it was like all right, here we go."
On Jayson Werth's hard-hit grounder.
"I threw one breaking. I think Werth hit it about 150 mph. Thank goodness it was on the ground."
And the showdown with Harper:
"Yeah. You know, obviously we've been on the other end and facing a position player is never easy. It's not even that fun. So I'm sure he was probably not taking it too serious. But I'll be able to tell my kids that when he's probably in the Hall of Fame some time."
Ben Revere, who grounded out against the lefty, was very impressed with the outing. MLB.com's Jamal Collier had more:
"Bryce told me he pitched at Ohio State, I didn't know. He looks pretty good. I don't know when the last time he pitched but he looked pretty good. He had a little cut to his fastball, so I was pretty impressed. Throwing 90 with a little sweep and I guess Werth said he had a pretty good two-seamer, lucky I didn't see that or I would've got jammed."
Yes, well, if we had our way, there'd be a position player (or two) pitching in a game every night.