You've heard about a curveball breaking off at the knees, but this one almost made a player break at his knees.
As recorded off an ESPN broadcast, Panama batter Jean Mar Sanchez completely wiped out when trying to dip down to follow a nasty curveball by Puerto Rico pitcher Braulio Flores. The 13-year-old ace snapped off the supremely dropsy pitch on a 1-1 count which Sanchez diligently followed, right to the point that his personal elevation threw off his center of gravity so badly that he completely lost his balance and accidentally bailed out of the batter's box altogether.
Considering the fact that Flores is just 13, that is one heck of a nasty pitch. He may not have the Bugs Bunny powers of Barry Zito or Tim Lincecum at their finest, but he gets plenty of movement on his delivery. By the time he was done, the Puerto Rican pitcher, who came on in relief after 1 1/3 inning, racked up an astonishing 12 strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. That was only made possible because he struck out four batters in an inning twice, with batters advancing on wild pitches or catcher errors.
Luckily for Sanchez, he and his Panamanian teammates got the last laugh, pulling out a 9-4 victory in their opening game of international pool play in Williamsport. That means he evidently regained his balance, which is good news for everyone.
After all, no 13 year old wants to be responsible for giving an opposing baseball player a case of vertigo.