Rays DH hits ball into pitching machine, machine fires back (VIDEO)
JUN 20, 2014 4:04a ET
Considering the Tampa Bay Rays' struggles this season, extra batting practice sounds like a good idea.
But what Matt Joyce did in pregame batting practice on Thursday may be taking extra BP to a new extreme.
While hitting in the cage before the game against Houston at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., Joyce popped one up, an innocent-enough looking swing. But in one of those "couldn't do it again in a hundred tries" moment, the ball landed inside the pitching machine, which pitched the same ball right back to Joyce, catching the designated hitter and BP pitcher / video coordinator Chris "Chico" Fernandez by surprise.
In all seriousness, considering how unprepared both were for the ball, had Joyce wandered over home plate thinking he was between pitches, the woeful Rays could have had a serious injury on their hands.
The Rays did win the game 5-0, so maybe some of the extra work is paying off. For his part, Joyce was 1 for 4 with a double.
Tampa has a long way to go, however, still sitting at the bottom of all of MLB with a 29-45 record and last in the American League (tied for 26th overall) with 270 runs scored.