Normally a pitcher nearly striking a batter in the head with a pitch doesn't turn into a cartoon adventure, but in Sunday's game between the Reds and Nationals, Henry Rodriguez accomplished just that. First, the scarier moment, the near HBP:
Corky Miller nearly takes a 93 mph fastball to the head, but it's pretty clear from a follow-up pitch that Rodriguez wasn't aiming for Miller. That, or the baseball gods were serving justice, with some help from physics:
Henry Rodriguez cuts out middleman and Nationals' catcher Kurt Suzuki and gets the ball back on his own by hitting the Nationals' logo in the grass, which bounces the 96 mph fastball into the Nats' logo behind the backstop, and then ricochets the ball about 70 feet back to Rodriguez, with this Rube Goldberg moment in baseball ending with Rodriguez nearly hit in the head by his own pitch. We've all had overzealous skee ball throws like this, I'm sure.
The only thing missing is this exact play occurring while a runner was on third, so said runner could then be thrown out at home by the pitcher on his own wild pitch. We'll just have to settle for an alternate angle:
From this view, it looks like Rodriguez loaded the pitch into a cannon behind the plate which then fires the ball back in front of the pitcher. I don't remember this feature from Super Baseball 2020, but it's been forever since I've played future robot baseball.