Miami Marlins relief pitcher Dan Jennings was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jordy Mercer on Thursday night. Jennings nearly got his glove up to block the ball but instead was drilled directly in the side of the head.
The scene got very scary from there, as the 27-year-old tried to walk it off but was clearly dazed. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and manager Mike Redmond immediately raced to the mound with team trainers. Jennings was removed from the game and later diagnosed with a concussion.
“He was responding to the questions (trainer Sean Cunningham) was asking him,” Redmond said. “His eyes were open the whole time. He didn’t lose consciousness. He was responding.”
The ball deflected so hard off Jennings’ head that it stayed in the air long enough for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to catch it for the out. Jennings later tweeted that he was doing well.
The scans were negative-it seems I'm going to be ok. The support shown tonight has been unbelievable, speechless. God is amazing
— Dan Jennings (@LtDanJennings) August 8, 2014
Given how bad that looked, a concussion was probably the best case scenario. We’ve seen a number of pitchers get nailed in the head with line drives in the past, and most of them have been very lucky. Here’s hoping Jennings has a speedy recovery.