One of the biggest complaints about baseball (from non-baseball fans, that is) is that the game is slow, plodding, and not all that exciting. Millions and millions of baseball fans would firmly disagree, but even if you’re not thrilled by the sport itself you can’t deny that there’s not many places you can watch a man almost lose his head and narrowly avoid catastrophe thanks to a Matrix-like dodge.

That’s exactly what happened in a matchup between the Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics last night, as Astros pitcher Collin McHugh can within inches of taking a speeding baseball right to the chin. The video, which looks almost too insane to be real, is worth repeated viewings.

McHugh pitched a fastball to Kendrys Morales of Oakland who promptly sent it right back at the pitcher. In a split second, McHugh twisted backwards to avoid the ball, arching his back and then swinging his head back as the ball came within what seems to be centimeters of his chin.

There’s really no way to describe it other than “Matrix-like.”

I’m not sure how you avoid a baseball moving that fast without being able to see the world in slow-motion, but McHugh pulled it off brilliantly.

One shudders to think what would have happened if McHugh failed to get his face completely out of harms way before the ball arrived. A speeding baseball is no joke, and brutal injuries have resulted from balls hitting in much less sensitive place than, you know, a face.

You can criticize the sport of baseball for any number of perceived shortcomings, but there’s no denying that there’s some truly superhuman feats happening on the diamond.