Anywhere but the face.
If you're a student of pickoff moves to first base (anyone, anyone?), sometimes you'll see a baserunner step toward the first base bag and put his hand up in apparent attempt to protect his face from an errant throw. Only, who has ever seen an errant throw on a pickoff move actually hit a guy in the face?
Seatttle's Franklin Gutierrez can answer that question now after being struck on the right side of his face on a throw by Boston's Franklin Morales. Gutierrez writhed in pain and grabbed his head, laying on the ground for about two minutes before walking off the field aided by training staff. Gutierrez sustained a mild concussion, the Mariners said late Thursday night.
Frightening. And amazing accidental accuracy.
Gutierrez might be the unluckiest player in the majors. He's missed a great deal of time the past two seasons because of health problems, most notably gastrointestinal issues. Since the end of the 2011 season, Gutierrez also has torn his oblique muscle, suffered plantar fasciitis in his heel and torn a pectoral muscle.
Gutierrez's injury, along with the game's result — the Mariners won 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth — ruined an otherwise strong night for Morales. He didn't allow a hit until Gutierrez led off the fourth inning with a single. Morales allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings.
Earlier this season, Morales was beside himself after hitting Will Rhymes of the Rays in the arm and later watching Rhymes faint after having an adrenaline rush.
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