It is often said that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. There’s a reason for that. Even the best hitters fail seven out of 10 times at the plate. Baseball can be a pretty cruel game.
Toronto Blue Jays infielder Ryan Goins got a nice reminder of that during Thursday’s 8-6 win over the Boston Red Sox. Goins somehow found a way to ground out on a pitch that nearly hit him in the head.
In the top of the fifth inning, Goins stepped in against reliever Fernando Abad. On the first pitch, Abad lost control of a changeup. Instead of going over the plate, it made its way near Goins’ head.
Fearing he was about to get hit in the face, Goins turned his body away from the plate. As Goins was bailing out of the batter’s box and going to the ground, the ball ran inside, made contact with the bat handle and weakly bounced toward the pitcher’s mound.
Abad scooped up the ball and casually threw it to first base. Hanley Ramirez seemed a bit shocked about the development, taking a few seconds before stepping on the bag for the out.
Goins never left the batter’s box. He remained seated in the dirt while the whole play unfolded. After he was called out, Goins couldn’t help but crack a smile. It was equal parts “are you kidding me,” mixed with a strong dose of “just my luck.”
That’s seems like the appropriate response. Hitting is hard enough as it is. When something unexpected like this happens, all you can do is smile and hope for the best with your next opportunity.
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