Baseball is a sport that often feels safe, as it’s not a contact sport in the way football and hockey (or even basketball) are, and the slower pace of play can lull you into a sense that there isn’t danger. However, with how hard guys throw and how fast the ball comes off of the bat, the moments where those things get away from someone are unsettling reminders of just how dangerous it is just simply hitting and pitching.
Earlier this season, Bryce Harper got a scare when he took a fastball to the face, but was able to get a hand up and pull his head back in time to avoid a direct hit. On Monday Mets outfielder Kevin Pillar wasn’t as fortunate when a 94 mph fastball from Braves pitcher Jacob Webb got away from him, riding up and in to Pillar’s face where it hit him square in the nose in a terrifying scene in Atlanta.
[WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO]
Kevin Pillar was just drilled in the face by a pitch and immediately left the game in Atlanta.
Hoping for the best pic.twitter.com/T67yrlkWoU
— UNB! Sports MLB (@unbsportsmlb) May 18, 2021
That Pillar was able to get up and walk off the field as quickly as he did seems like a minor miracle, but he was bleeding profusely from the bridge of the nose where he got hit. You could see Webb’s immediate reaction was to snap around and crouch to the ground in horror, clearly feeling awful for what just happened and hoping that Pillar would be OK. Freddie Freeman and everyone else on the infield had the same reaction, as the sound it made when it hit Pillar was awful. Webb was very shaken up in the dugout afterwards, being spoken to by his pitching coach and manager.
Braves coaches Kevin Seitzer and Rick Kranitz have spent the past half-inning on the dugout bench talking with Jacob Webb pic.twitter.com/btCcycS4iI
— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) May 18, 2021
Hopefully Pillar will be alright long-term, but he will surely miss some time and the work to get back both physically and mentally from that kind of moment is going to be a process. We’ll provide further updates when made available on his injury and status.