The Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander doubled over in the first inning after blindly sticking his glove out at a Victor Martinez comebacker.
No one, least of all Volquez, expected anything to come out of the desperate, backhanded grab. He did it as a gesture, if anything at all.
Except the ball stuck.
Martinez’s hit slapped loudly into the meat of Volquez’s glove, and the pitcher suddenly found himself defending a run.
After nearly throwing to first, Pittsburgh’s resurgent righty wisely sent the ball home to head off a run by Detroit’s Ian Kinsler.
Volquez spoke to the media after the game. He credited the ball more than his own reflexes for the play.
“The ball got me,” Volquez told The Associated Press (h/t USA Today). “I got lucky on that one.”
Lucky or not, Tuesday amounted to another strong showing for Volquez, the finicky restoration project the Pirates snapped up for a cool $5 million over the offseason. The righty gave up two runs over six innings on five hits Tuesday, striking out five batters against two walks in a 4-2 win against the Tigers.
Well done, Volquez. Now go ice that hand. I’m surprised that ball didn’t embed itself in the leather.
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