During a 8–0 blowout loss to the Braves, in attempt to save their bullpen during useless action, the Cubs turned to catcher Tucker Barnhart to close out the game.
The 32-year-old veteran who, instead of being behind the plate, was asked to step on the mound and face arguably the National League’s most feared hitter: Ronald Acuña Jr.
After Barnhart only needed two pitches to retire Michael Harris II on a groundout to second base, Acuña Jr. stepped to the plate. Upon tossing a high slow pitch, normally reserved for softball, Barnhart hilariously began to treat off the back of the mound—even before the pitch reached the Braves star hitter.
Acuña, who destroys some of the best pitchers in the game, laced the pitch to left field for his third hit of the game.
— MLB (@MLB) August 4, 2023
Despite being able to record a scoreless ninth, Barnhart’s unwillingness to stand on the mound and fully field the position— to Acuña’s immense power—is something most fans would likely do as well.