One of the most terrifying sights in baseball is a fastball to the head, and in the Atlanta Braves’ 4-1 victory over the New York Mets, that’s exactly what was seen.
In the top of the 6th inning, Jason Heyward came up to bat against pitcher Jonathon Niese. On a 1-2 count, Niese elevated a 90mph fastball that hit Heyward directly in the jaw, fracturing it in two places. Heyward immediately fell to the ground, where he laid for a considerable amount of time, never losing consciousness. After a prolonged visit by Braves head athletic trainer, Jeff Porter, Heyward was able to walk off the field under his own power.
Heyward’s grandparents, who were attending the game were rushed to the Braves’ clubhouse to see their grandson, who shortly after was transported to a hospital in Manhattan for x-rays, revealing the double fracture.
After a struggling start to the season, Heyward had been batting .349 with five home runs since taking over the lead off spot on July 27th. He had become a crucial part of the team and had powered the Braves to victory with 15 RBIs.
He will be on the disabled list for 4-6 weeks and likely could miss the rest of the regular season. The Braves are hopeful that he will be able to return in time for the post season to continue to help power the Braves through the post season.
The Braves currently hold a 15 game lead over the second place Washington Nationals, with Heyward having been a large part of their success over the past month.