When Yankees star catcher Gary Sanchez took to the field in last night’s American League Wild Card game against the Minnesota Twins, he would have been hoping for the perfect game. What Sanchez won’t have expected was to be trending on social media for all the wrong reasons. With the game in the sixth inning Yankees relief pitcher, David Robertson fired down a knuckleball. As reported by the Washington Post, the pitch bamboozled Twins hitter Brian Dozier, who foul tipped the ball just enough to deflect its direction.
Sanchez failed to get a glove on the ball, and as a result paid the most painful price imaginable. The ball bounced just in front of Sanchez and went on to strike him a painful blow in the groin. As Sanchez reeled in agony Yankees pitcher David Robertson clearly felt his pain. As reported by SB Nation, Robertson can be seen on the mound, one hand covering his face in horror, the other guarding his own groin in sympathy with Sanchez.
Of course, Robertson had the perfect view of the reason for Sanchez’ discomfort, but whilst other teammates did not have so clear a view they were quick to offer their sympathies. Third baseman Todd Frazier later said that “I didn’t know it got him in the cojones, man. When he bounced up, it looked like he was dying.” Teammate Brett Gardner added, “I’m just glad I’m not a catcher.”
Of course, Sanchez’ misfortune, and Robertson’s reaction went viral on social media, with predictably amusing results. With Sanchez rolling in the dirt he did attract some sympathy, but Twitter users thought that Robertson’s reaction was pure baseball gold.
Twitter user Dylan tweeted a video clip of the ball hitting Sanchez and said that “if I was Gary Sanchez this would be the day I retire from baseball.”
Men’s Daily News focused on Robertson’s reaction to Sanchez’ misfortune, saying that he had reacted with “five stages of grief.”
You do have to admire Sanchez’ fortitude, after his painful blow he recovered enough to return to the field during the same inning and hit a double, helping the Yankees to an 8 – 4 win over the Minnesota Twins. As many on social media remarked, “Sanchez certainly has a pair.”
[Featured Image by Frank Franklin II/AP Images]