Backup Cubs catcher John Baker is the king of North side Chicago today.
Baker was called on to pitch the 16th inning of a marathon contest between the Cubs and Rockies last night after Chicago ran out of relievers. Despite a fastball that topped out in the 70’s, Baker shut down the side. As cool as that was for Chicago fans, the John Baker show wasn’t over yet.
Baker led off in the bottom of the 16th and drew a walk. Three batters later, he found himself on third base with Starlin Castro at the plate. Castro hit a line drive to right field, and Baker raced home to score the winning run. Not a bad inning for a guy who’s only played in 48 games all year.
After the game, Baker laughed with reporters and said “I trust my stuff.” He said he first dabbled with a split-finger fastball, but opted to throw his “straight 76mph heater” instead.”
“That seemed to be the most effective pitch in the game,” he joked.
Here, courtesy of MLB.com, is a video recap of Baker’s once-in-a-career inning: