There's a reason coaches throw batting practice behind a screen: As the pitcher, you are first in line against a cannon firing a shell weighing about one-third of a pound, at nearly 100 miles per hour. Ask Herb Score, the bullet line-drive back up the middle has ended and severely altered some promising careers. A line drive killed first-base coach Mike Coolbaugh, and that's the reason all base coaches now wear helmets—as they do in MLB The Show.


On a hot July night in Rochester (actually a cool May evening in Eugene, Ore.) Trevor Plouffe slammed my 0-1 screwball back into my right orbital socket. I recoiled in real-time horror. It was literally cringe-inducing. I have never seen this in MLB The Show in my life, and I screamed as my pitcher fell on the mound, twitching. Plouffe reached first on the base hit off of my face.

Not shown here, because I didn't have the capture software running at the time, is the post-play animation. As much as I wanted to see panicked trainers and dugout personnel running to my motionless body, maybe jamming a towel into my broken and bleeding face, that didn't happen. I was helped up and I shook my head as Matt Vasgersian and Dave Campbell commented generically on my injury. I get the feeling The Show wants to include this type of play for verisimilitude, but doesn't deliver the actual outcome either because Major League Baseball doesn't want to see it in a game, or it would rate a violent content descriptor in the ESRB rating.

This occurred in the second inning. Incredibly, I shook it off and induced the next batter in to a 5-4-3 double play, then threw another four shutout innings, striking out seven. I scattered—if that's the correct term—13 baserunners over six innings and still got the victory. The Rochester Red Wings are terrible, but they hit hard. Only my head is harder.

If the worst outcome of this is that my WHIP ballooned from 1.09 to 1.22, instead of the right side of my face, I'll take it.