- Fox Sports San Diego
In 2013, Washington Nationals veteran outfielder Jayson Werth got caught looking when then-Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Villanueva unleashed a 57 mph “eephus” pitch. Three years later, it happened again and Werth’s reaction was priceless.
Now pitching for the San Diego Padres, Villanueva threw another eephus, this one at 56 mph. The eephus is a pitch that works best when it is hardly ever used and it worked perfectly against Werth who gave up before the pitch even crossed the plate.
That comes from this video which also shows Werth falling for the eephus in 2013.
The eephus pitch, which was first made famous by Rip Sewell in the 1940s who would throw the ball as much as 25 feet up in the air, likely received its name as a result of a misunderstanding.
After throwing the pitch during a spring training game, Sewell’s manager wanted to know what type of pitch it was. Outfielder Maurice Van Robays reportedly called it an “eephus.“
It is believed by some that Van Robays actually used the Hebrew term “efes” which means “nothing,” as in “that pitch isn’t anything, it is nothing.” A reporter who transcribed the exchange may have been unfamiliar with the Hebrew term and gave the word his own spelling.
Ted Williams famously hit a home run off Sewell’s eephus pitch in the 1946 All-Star game.