What this chart indicates is that cats are able to state what they want from the petting interaction, which leads to a more honest, deeper pet-and-pet-owner relationship. Dogs just lie there and let the pet-owner do his bidding like a woman of the wharf would a grizzled merchant marine holding a twenty-dollar bill.
The answer turns out to be “a lot of things”, and they all happen very quickly, and it doesn’t end well for the batter (or the pitcher). I sat down with some physics books, a Nolan Ryan action figure, and a bunch of videotapes of nuclear tests and tried to sort it all out. What follows is my best guess at a nanosecond-by-nanosecond portrait:
The ball is going so fast that everything else is practically stationary. Even the molecules in the air are stationary. Air molecules vibrate back and forth at a few hundred miles per hour, but the ball is moving through them at 600 million miles per hour. This means that as far as the ball is concerned, they’re just hanging there, frozen.