ATLANTA — The Mets on Tuesday morning announced outfielder Kevin Pillar, who was hit in the face by a pitch in Monday's seventh inning, suffered multiple nasal fractures.
Pillar will meet with a facial specialist in Atlanta to determine the next steps, the club said.
With the bases loaded in the inning, Atlanta's Jacob Webb drilled Pillar in the face with a 95 mph fastball. Pillar immediately went facedown to the dirt. Blood covered his nose — so much of it, in fact, that the grounds crew at Truist Park rushed onto the field to clean it up.
"You think about the player’s career, you think about a lot of things in the moment and you get emotional," Rojas said of his thoughts when moments like that occur. "The best you can do in the moment is pray and ask God for the understanding and the best on the guys, that they have a prompt recovery and that they can get back in the game if that’s the plan."
Added James McCann: “Standing in the box, the normal person doesn’t realize how fast that ball is coming in there and how quick you have to react. It’s just one of those things where that ball looked like it was chasing him."
New York Mets' Kevin Pillar (11) lies on the ground after being hit in the face with a pitch from Atlanta Braves pitcher Jacob Webb in the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, May 17, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Photo: John Bazemore, AP)
And somehow, perhaps in a testament to Pillar's toughness, he got up and walked off the field under his own power. It surprised Rojas and probably many others in the ballpark at the time.
“It was not an easy moment," Rojas said. "Our prayers are with KP. Everyone here feels for him and his family at home that probably watched that. It’s tough."
Pillar is the Mets' latest loss due to injury — though it's unclear how long he might be out. Still, it's a bummer for the team because he'd filled in quite nicely for the injured Brandon Nimmo.
The Mets are also without starters Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis. They're missing Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker left Monday night's game with left side tightness. Depth pieces Luis Guillorme and Albert Almora Jr. are also on the injured list.
It seemed like it couldn't get worse, but then it did as Pillar experienced a moment as scary as any you'll see in the sport.
"Devastating," Tomás Nido said. "I was sick to my stomach."
But after the game, Pillar seemed in good spirits. He tweeted letting everyone know he was OK. His hit by pitch gave the Mets an insurance run they needed considering Atlanta scored a run in the eighth and it would've tied the game had it not been for Pillar.
In his tweet that night, Pillar joked that his play was a "game winner."
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