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Watch: Pitcher Narrowly Avoids Disastrous Injury, Makes Astonishing Catch Instead

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Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress narrowly avoided getting hit in the head by a line drive up the middle Monday against the Minnesota Twins.

Jeffress not only avoided injury, but — thanks to his quick reflexes and great hand-eye coordination — he actually caught the ball.

The play happened in the bottom of the fifth inning at Target Field. Jeffress had come on in relief of Brewers starter Gio Gonzalez.

With two outs, the Twins’ Willians Astudillo roped one right back at Jeffress.

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Jeffress leaned back and somehow managed to catch the ball just inches from his face.

The replay shows just how far backward he leaned. His back was parallel to the ground before his legs kicked out and he fell down.

Jeffress explained after the game how he managed to catch that ball.

“Instinct,” he said. “I just reacted. I literally thought I was gone.”

“I made a good pitch down in the zone, and he just hit it well,” Jeffress said. “Hit it right back up the middle. I literally thought it was going over my head. Last second, I just reacted. That’s all I could do.”

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Jeffress was down for a while after the play as trainers came out to look at him. But he later told reporters that he was fine, he was just collecting his thoughts after such a close call.

There was even some concern that he might have tweaked his knee or back considering the “Matrix”-like way he had to move his body.

“I’m fine,” Jeffress said. “In those moments it’s just all reaction, but my body feels great.”

The Brewers went on to win, spurred by Orlando Arcia’s two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning that gave Milwaukee a 5-4 lead. Closer Josh Hader shut the door in the last two innings to seal the win.

Corbin Burnes (1-3) got the win in relief. Taylor Rogers (1-1) took the loss for Minnesota.

The Brewers are now 31-24, a half-game behind the Cubs in the NL Central. The Twins fell to 36-17 but hold a 10-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
Location
Massachusetts
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