Giants reliever Jose Alvarez threw a scoreless sixth inning Sunday in San Francisco's 1-0 win to avoid a sweep against the Miami Marlins.
It was a solid inning in a crucial time, but it surely wasn't as emotional as Monday should be for him. Alvarez will return to Citizens Bank Ballpark for the Giants' road series against the Philadelphia Phillies. While Alvarez had a 1.42 ERA last season, it was cut short for one of the most painful reasons possible.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a line drive right back at Alvarez 105 mph that hit him in a man's worst nightmare. He somehow retrieved the loose ball and flipped to it first base for an out before collapsing to the ground.
"Not many people know me, but after that play they did," Alvarez said to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury with a laugh during a recent telephone conversation. "They'd say, 'Oh, you're the guy who got hit in the balls.'
"People make jokes and it doesn't bother me. We can laugh about it now, but it was pretty painful and serious at first."