A very scary scene unfolded Tuesday night at Tropicana Field: Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ was hit hard on the head by a Desmond Jennings line drive in the second inning, sending Happ to the ground with blood running out of his ear.
Happ didn't get up as the play finished — the ball ricocheted into the right-field corner and Jennings finished with a two-run triple. Happ's teammates and the Blue Jays medical team rushed to his aid afterward. He was eventually carted off the field on a stretcher. Reports from the scene say Happ was conscious when he left the field and motioned to the crowd on his way to the clubhouse. He was quickly sent to a nearby hospital.
UPDATE: Happ is said to be in stable condition Bayfront Medical Center, according to an Associated Press report.
The team said Happ was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was alert and undergoing tests. Nursing supervisor Natasha Keller told The Associated Press that Happ had been admitted to the hospital and was in stable condition.
The incident calls to mind last season, when then-Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a line drive off his head. He left the field on his own, but was later diagnosed with a skull fracture and brain contusion.
In the aftermath of injuries to McCarthy and other pitchers in similar defense-less positions, Major League Baseball has been working on protective head gear for pitchers. It wasn't approved for this season, but depending on what happens with Happ, it might soon be a topic that the league is revisiting.
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