In the midst of the O’s shutting out a White Sox team that’s currently sitting 4.5 games out of first place in the central, Josh Harrison might have had one of the strangest and unlucky HBP situations ever.

The pitch delivered by Dean Kremer (2-1, 1.71) looked almost like a whiffle ball screwball heading into the Xfinity Mobile sign on the backstop. Harrison attempts to get out of the wayand it somehow hits his BACK elbow. O’s broadcasters were so confused and insisted that it hit him in the lat, which it seemingly did, until they showed the slow-motion footage. josh-harrison-exits-in-the-6th

Anything on the back side of your stance is virtually impossible to get hit by a pitch. This is why helmets don’t have an ear flap on the back side, and why hitters don’t wear ankle/shin/elbow guards on that side either. It’s just not going to happen. Until it does.

I would really love to get StatCast on this and figure out what the actual probability of Harrison getting hit by that pitch was. If his elbow was an in closer towards the front side of his body, that ball may have just blew right past him with no harm done. If anyone has their contact info, send it over, or better yet, if you’re a math whiz, send us (and Josh Harrison) your calculations. We appreciate you.

I wonder if players will consider now wearing guards on all sides of the body. I’m not here to argue why this happened, but MLB’s ban on sticky substances and pitchers’ seeming inability to effectively control the ball may lead to more padding being worn by players. They have to protect their bodies, and boy is that going to be a joy to watch. Eventually we’re going to end up with players coming to bat looking like this:

And I’m ready for it.

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