It’s every baseball player’s worst nightmare: getting hit by a pitch…in the face! That’s exactly what happened to Atlanta Braves slugger Jason Heyward on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old phenom was plunked in the right jaw by Jon Niese in the Braves’ 4-1 win over the New York Mets, but it came with a hard price for Heyward. After being taken to a Manhattan hospital, Heyward was diagnosed with two fractures in his jaw, which will likely keep him out 4-6 weeks.
The silver lining here is the fact Atlanta is a whopping 15.5 games ahead of the Washington Nationals in the NL East division title race, so Heyward’s absence shouldn’t have a drastic effect on Atlanta’s playoff chances. I mean, this team is almost 30 games above .500 as we near the start of September, so unless they have a historic collapse, they can coast into the postseason with the division crown without rushing Heyward back from his scary incident.
Injuries are never good, but Heyward will have plenty of time to recover before the postseason and the Braves are poised for a deep run with their young star healthy and in the lineup, so Atlanta fans shouldn’t be worried because they’re young star will be back and better when it matters most.