TOPNippon Ham-Fighters Pitcher Throws a Crazy “Eephus Pitch”

Nippon Ham-Fighters Pitcher Throws a Crazy “Eephus Pitch”

By Alec Jordan

“What’s an Eephus pitch,” you say? Read on…

If you’re talking about sports in Japan these days, it’s hard to get much attention for anything that isn’t connected to a certain set of football matches that are going to be played during the month of June. Maybe* that’s why Hokkaido Nippon Ham-Fighters pitcher Kazuhito Tadano, in the 8th inning of a game against the Hanshin Tigers a couple days ago, decided to liven things up a little with a tricky pitch to batter Mauro Gomez.

The rarely seen toss goes by quite a few names, aside from Eephus pitch: the moon ball, the blooper ball, and the rainbow pitch, among others—one of the announcers dubbed it the Sky Tree Ball.

Yet, as goofy as the pitch was, both announcers seemed surprised that the umpire called it a ball, and not a strike. We’ll leave it to the eagle-eyed among you to decide for yourself. The Tigers went on to win the game, 4–1, and Gomez is probably still thanking the baseball gods that he didn’t get struck out on the kind of a pitch you might expect to see in a Bugs Bunny cartoon…


*Then again, maybe he was trying to take some attention away from poor ol’ 50 Cent…

Eephus pitch, Kazuhito Tadano, Mauro Gomez, Nippon Ham-Fighters