The biggest sigh of relief for the Los Angeles Dodgers probably didn't come after Clayton Kershaw registered his 15th strikeout, against Corey Dickerson, to complete a no-hit, no-walk effort against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
Instead, it came after the dust of the celebration cleared and they realized that catcher A.J. Ellis had made it through unharmed.
A.J. Ellis told me he made a conscious decision after the 6th to discard his mask away from any no-no fracas - "and stay on Earth," he said.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) June 19, 2014
Ellis was referring to what happened earlier this season, May 25, when another Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher threw a no-hitter. During the celebration at Citizens Bank Park after Josh Beckett finished his no-no, Ellis sustained what had to be one of the unluckiest injuries in Major League Baseball history. As the team converged on Beckett near the mound, Ellis jumped up and came down on the facemask belonging to Drew Butera, spraining his right ankle. Ellis hadn't even played in the game and, at the time, had recently returned from knee surgery. He went back on the disabled list for nearly three weeks. He's been playing again since Friday.
Ellis made sure wasn't going to get hurt again during Kershaw's celebration.
"I went straight in for the hug, stayed in for the embrace."
Ellis's wife even made a joke about it on Twitter:
Earlier in the Dickerson at-bat, Ellis threw caution to the wind — and threw himself at a fence — in trying to finish the no-hitter by catching a foul pop, but the ball was beyond his reach.
Ellis crashed hard into a screen, which had a lot of give, and he nearly tumbled over the top. Ellis was fine, but it still gave everyone watching pause.
To win, absolutely. Just not to celebrate.
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