Pirates pitcher exits game after collapsing in pain from apparent arm injury

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/pittsburgh/" data-ylk="slk:Pirates">Pirates</a> pitcher <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/9873/" data-ylk="slk:Nick Burdi">Nick Burdi</a> lays injured on the mound. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Pirates pitcher Nick Burdi lays injured on the mound. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

One of the best stories on the Pittsburgh Pirates quickly turned into tragedy on Monday night.

With high 90s heat and a wipeout slider, reliever Nick Burdi had racked up 17 strikeouts in 8.2 innings heading into the Pirates’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and looked like a relief ace in the making. His stuff was the reward for a Pirates team that stuck with him as a prospect after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017.

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Burdi’s season took a turn for the worse when he gave up a home run, then allowed three straight singles to open the eighth inning. Then, one pitch potentially ended his season.

Facing D-backs outfielder Jarrod Dyson, Burdi threw a 97-mph fastball, doubled over in pain, grabbed his elbow and collapsed to the ground. A Pirates trainer was soon out to attend to the 26-year-old, who had tears in his eyes.

Burdi obviously left the game after that, and his team clearly wasn’t confident he’d be back soon.

The Pirates’ director of sports medicine said the team was still gathering information before making a diagnosis, per Pittsburgh reporter Alan Saunders, but it’s hard to imagine Burdi returning this season given how much can go wrong in a reconstructed elbow.

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