throw (one) a curveball

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throw (one) a curveball

To introduce a problem piece of information that shocks, bewilders, or confounds one or makes it more difficult for one to succeed. An allusion to baseball, in which a curveball is a pitch that arcs toward the batter in order to be more difficult to hit. Primarily heard in US. The end of that trick always throws the audience a curveball. I love watching their faces as they desperately try to figure it out. It really threw Stu a curveball when Olivia announced she was leaving the company.
See also: curveball, throw
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

throw somebody a ˈcurveball

(American English) surprise somebody with a problem, situation, question, etc. that they do not expect and which is difficult to deal with: Just when you think you have it all under control, life throws you a curve ball.
In baseball, a curveball is a ball that is difficult to hit because it does not move in a straight line.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
''Timmy threw a curveball, and that's when he first started feeling it,'' manager Ned Yost said at the time.
The boyishly amiable animator threw a curveball that almost knocked me off my chair on the Pavilion's deck when he smiled and said, "I want to go from The Care Bears to snuff films." Not quite.