The inning began with controversy and quickly devolved to tragedy at Tropicana Field tonight, as Blue Jays’ pitcher J.A. Happ was hit in the head with a line drive in the second inning of his team’s game with the Rays. Desmond Jennings’ drive up the middle hit Happ in the left side of his head, with the ball caroming all the way into the stands down the right-field line. Happ immediately dropped to the ground and was quickly surrounded by teammates and trainers. He was taken to the hospital for tests, according to the Toronto Star.
When you get hit in the head with a ball and the batter gets a triple, that’s bad. ESPN:
Jennings stood with his hands on his head, and other players were visibly concerned as they watched Happ receive medical attention. The left-hander was strapped to a backboard and immobilized before he was lifted onto a stretcher and wheeled off the field through an opening behind home plate.
Just before he disappeared under the stands, Happ raised his right hand and waved. He received a standing ovation from the crowd, and the game resumed after an 11-minute delay.
His condition is unknown at this point.
Jennings advanced to third base on the play, which was scored a triple, as the Rays plated a pair of runs to take a 3-1 second-inning lead while Happ lay near motionless in front of the mound.
According to Rule 5.10, an umpire may declare a play dead “when an accident incapacitates a player or an umpire.” The rule was not employed on the play by either home-plate umpire Marty Foster or crew chief Tim Welke.
UPDATE: ESPN reports that the Blue Jays say Happ is in stable conditon. “He was responsive and doing well,” the team said in a statement.
Photos: Associated Press/Reuters.