A new angle of Braves pitcher Jackson Stephens taking a line drive off his head makes it even more miraculous that he’s alright.
Baseball suddenly became secondary in St. Louis on Friday night. Atlanta Braves pitcher Jackson Stephens exited his relief appearance after taking a line drive straight to his forehead.
Stephens was struck by a 90.4 MPH line drive straight to his forehead, and it was nothing short of terrifying. He exited the game after and immediately had a visible welt above his right eye.
The whole incident was broadcast on television, but Braves beat writer Mark Bowman shared an alternate dugout angle that makes the whole thing look even more terrifying.
It’s not just that Stephens was hit, it’s how quickly everything happens. Television broadcasts seem to slow the action down, not literally but just through our repeated viewings framing how we see the game. To see this in literal real time, and to see how little time there was for Stephens to react, is beyond scary.
Despite how horrifying the incident was, Stephens somehow walked off the field with a trainer and seems to be doing okay.
According to his teammate Spencer Strider, Stephens was in the clubhouse and “in good spirits.” Strider said Stephens will be okay, according to Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Braves pitcher Jackson Stephens seems to be doing okay after scary incident
According to Braves manager Brian Snitker, Stephens was aware and appeared to be fine after being struck. Snitker told Sports Illustrated, “He’s aware and everything but he’s going to have to go to the hospital and get some tests. It’s always scary when you see somebody get hit in the head, the face. That’s probably the most sickening thing you can witness in a game.”
Stephens is playing his first career season with Atlanta and has done well so far. He’s relieved 32 games and has produced an ERA of 3.89, batting average against of .244 and WHIP of 1.39. He previously pitched with the Cincinnati Reds in 2017 and 2018, then played Triple-A in 2019.
He’s having his best season in the majors and is contributing a lot toward Atlanta’s high success. It’s unclear how severe his injury is, but he’ll hopefully be back to full health soon.