Winning and losing seemed terribly less important for a few frightening seconds during an Oakland A’s home game against the Los Angeles Angels when Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy was struck hard in the head by a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar.
USA Today reported that, after being hit directly in the head by the line drive, McCarthy sat on the mound feeling his head while being attended to. The A’s reported that McCarthy never lost consciousness, and he eventually got up and walked off the field under his own power. McCarthy was taken to a Summit Hospital for a CAT scan, and it was not revealed whether or not he suffered a concussion.
During Aybar’s fourth-inning at bat, his line drive ricocheted off McCarthy’s head to Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson who threw out Aybar for the second out of the inning. Aybar lingered near first base looking on with concern.
”You feel really bad,” Aybar told the Associated Press in Spanish. ”He’s a good guy. You never want to hit anybody over the head, and he’s a good guy. Hopefully everything turns out all right and, God-willing, that he gets better soon.”
McCarthy was relieved by Travis Blackley, but the three runs McCarthy surrendered in the third were all the Angels would need, and the injured pitcher picked up the loss to fall to 8-6 on the season as the Angels won 7-1 to complete a three-game sweep.
Pitchers often has little time to react to line drives fired back at them, and protective gear for pitchers has become more common at lower levels of the game.