Baseball pitchers can have no fear and are among the most vulnerable athletes to sudden, blink-of-the-eye dangers. Batted balls come screaming at them at over 100 miles per hour, and they only have fractions of a second to react and get the heck out of dodge.
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Miami Marlins starter Tom Koehler wasn’t so lucky in his start on Saturday afternoon against the New York Mets. Luckily for him and the pitching-starved Fish, the below liner off the bat of Juan Lagares in the bottom of the second inning only got him in the upper back/neck region. But it still looks pretty painful, and reminds us of the incredible scares that pitchers can face every time they step on the mound:
Yikes. Fortunately, Koehler got his head out of the way and avoided any serious damage, but still–ouch. Koehler was checked out by the Marlins training staff, but everything apparently looked good and Koehler was given the all-clear. Miami’s starter remained in the game in which he held a 2-1 lead at the time of the incident. Koehler has since given way to the bullpen after the Mets put up four runs in the fourth inning, tying the game 5-5.
I don’t need to remind Marlins fans of the absolutely devastating effects a good plunking can have on a player. Luckily, Koehler should be OK, if not a little bit bruised when he wakes up tomorrow morning. And the Marlins will rely heavily on the 28-year-old to provide quality starts, as the rotation is badly beaten up. Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart and Mat Latos are all currently on the disabled list, and Jose Fernandez is not due back for at least a month.
Koehler, who was briefly demoted to the bullpen before being inserted back into the rotation out of necessity, has a solid 3.44 ERA in 10 appearances (9 starts) this season. He probably hasn’t been quite that good–his 4.53 FIP suggests Miami’s defense has bailed him out some–but the Marlins will take what they can get at this point.
The Marlins conclude their three-game set at Citi Field Sunday at 1:10 PM.
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