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Houston Astros starting pitcher Collin McHugh delivers during the Major League Baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 16, 2019 in Oakland, Calif.
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Talk about bending over backwards.

During Tuesday night’s game between the Astros and the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., some kind of miracle — or a moment from the film The Matrix — seemed to happen. The A’s first baseman Kendrys Morales hit a line drive right at pitcher Collin McHugh’s head. But, by the force of magic, witchcraft or an angel, McHugh evaded the ball.

With the ball coming towards McHugh with that kind of velocity, the slow-motion video of the moment is breathtaking. McHugh slid his body backwards as the ball sliced between his mitt and his face. It was far too close for comfort, but somehow, it didn’t touch him.

Astros home plate umpire, Chris Guccione, reportedly told the pitcher he simply had to watch the video immediately. “‘You’ve got to watch it. It went right here.’ So we both turned around and watched the big screen,” McHugh said after the game, according to NBC Sports. “He was like, ‘Dude, I don’t know how you did that.’ I don’t either. Kind of lucky, I think.”

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Write to Rachel E. Greenspan at

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