For a pitcher, it’s a really vulnerable moment when you’re halfway through your follow-through and your pitch is on its way to home plate. Luckily, it’s something pitchers don’t always have to think about, but sometimes a batter hits a pitch right on the screws back up the middle, and when that happens, it’s terrifying.
Astros pitcher Collin McHugh had one of those moments on Tuesday. The Athletics‘ Kendrys Morales took a line drive right back up the pipe towards McHugh, which he managed to avoid. It was still turned into a double play.
McHugh was a good sport about it, implying that the ball did hit him on the way back, but it was just off his ring finger.
McHugh’s Matrix impression paid off and the Astros notched two outs without him getting completely smoked up the middle. He had a nice outing all things told, going six innings and allowing two hits and two walks in what ended up being a 9-1 win. Embedded in that hit is a reminder: Don’t come down and in on an 0-1 count. Morales is going to make you pay.