The ball screamed off Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer's bat, clocking 101 mph as it rocketed toward the outfield. Sixty feet later, it smacked into the head of Marlins relief pitcher Dan Jennings, catching him flush before he could react.
It's a nightmare scenario for any pitcher, and the video of Jennings crumpling to the ground and, remarkably, jumping back to his feet, is tough to watch. There's good news, though: Jennings didn't suffer any fractures, but he's been diagnosed with a concussion.
The head injury came with two out in a seventh inning that Jennings had come into as a reliever, and as shown in the video, the stadium in Pittsburgh went dead silent as teammates rushed around the pitcher and physicians ran onto the field.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond says he flashed back to a game more than a decade ago when he was a catcher.
"I remember back in '03 when Olsen got hit in the face and I was catching. Actually, he got hit in the side of the head as well," Redmond told reporters after the game, referring to a similar injury to then-Marlins reliever Kevin Olsen. "That's scary."
Jennings tweeted last night after being released from the hospital that he passed tests for skull fractures and has been diagnosed with a concussion.
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