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.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.