In a lot of ways, 2014 has been a damned good year for the the Miami Marlins, with the Fish unexpectedly hanging around the wild-card race all summer with a record right around .500. But they've also had a truly brutal brush of injuries.
Team ace Jose Fernandez was lost for the year way back in May when he blew out his elbow. In August, pitcher Dan Jennings was hit in the head with a terrifying 101 mile per hour line drive comebacker. And last night, the team's superstar, Giancarlo Stanton, had his own frightening on-field emergency when a fastball hit him square in the face.
The 88 mile per hour fastball from Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers caught Stanton square on the cheek. The star slugger was driven off the field in an ambulance after team physicians stabilized his head, the stadium watching it all play out in stunned silence.
This morning, the Marlins confirmed the extent of Stanton's injuries: Multiple facial fractures, dental damage and lacerations that required stitches. Yeah, it's as nasty as it sounds:
Tooth lodged in cheek. Hole in lip so big doc's index finger fit in it. And get this: Giancarlo Stanton still wants to return this season.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 12, 2014
Stanton's teammates took to Twitter to talk about the heart-stopping moments after the fastball connected with his face:
That was one of the to hardest things I've ever had to watch here's to hoping Big G is alright and makes a full recovery prayers ur way bud— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) September 12, 2014
Fiers also apologized for the pitch.
@Giancarlo818 I am deeply sorry about what happened tonight. I can't imagine what you and your family are going through. (Continue)...— Mike Fiers (@Fiers64) September 12, 2014
@Giancarlo818 my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I feel horrible and hope for a speedy recovery.— Mike Fiers (@Fiers64) September 12, 2014
Obviously, the important news this morning is that Stanton has undergone surgery and will presumably recover from the blow. But the injury is yet another unfair speedbump for a team that's done admirably well on the field this year -- without their star slugger, the Marlins distant wild card dreams are surely finished.