It doesn’t have to be fast, as long as it gets the job done.
Jayson Werth found that out the hard way Wednesday night, when a pitch from Cubs reliever Carlos Villanueva that looked like it belonged in the Little League World Series left the Nationals outfielder frozen to the ground.
After firing in a 90-mph fastball for strike one, Villanueva dialed the speed way down for his second offering, a curveball that clocked in at just 57 mph. Werth could do nothing but stare at the floater, remaining in the batter’s box for a solid five seconds with a befuddled expression on his face.
CBS Sports’ Eye on Baseball blog called Werth’s reaction an “existential crisis” — an evaluation that the outfielder did not disagree with.
“I had to Google ‘existential crisis,’” he joked to The Washington Post on Thursday. “It was an existential crisis. It really was. I was just getting myself standing back upright. Took me a second. Had to reboot the system after that one.
“All I know is that I’ve never seen a pitch that slow. [Except] when I struck out in slow pitch softball.”
Check out Villanueva’s mind-bending bender in the videos below.