ATLANTA — The Mets eked out a 3-1 win over Atlanta on Monday, but in the process, they sent one player to the hospital and will send another Tuesday.
Kevin Pillar was hit in the face by a 95-mph fastball from Atlanta reliever Jacob Webb in the seventh inning. With his nose gushing blood, Pillar remained on the ground for a minute before walking away under his own power. The game was delayed several minutes while the grounds crew removed the bloody dirt near the plate.
Pillar headed to a local hospital for a CT scan, the results of which the Mets did not have shortly after the game.
Declaring he was "fine," Pillar bragged about his "game-winning" RBI in a tweet. The bases-loaded hit-by-pitch forced in the Mets’ second run.
"Thanks to everyone that has reached out!" he wrote. "Scary moment but I’m doing fine!"
Scary for those merely watching, too.
"It was not an easy moment," manager Luis Rojas said. "This guy is a warrior. He shows up every day to play hard. He got up on his feet and left. No chance I thought he was going to be able to do that after I saw the ball hit him in the face."
James McCann, who was on third base and waited to score until after Pillar walked away, added: "It’s scary. It’s real scary. Everything kind of stops for a second. He gets hit by a pitch and the last thing on my mind is go touch home plate."
And Tomas Nido: "Devastating. I was sick to my stomach."
The Pillar incident came after righthander Taijuan Walker departed after three innings because of what the Mets (19-16) characterized as "left side tightness.’’
Walker said he has been dealing with that "nagging injury" for a couple of weeks. He has not swung a bat in his past two starts out of a fear of aggravating it.
He will get an MRI on Tuesday.
"Just to see what we’re dealing with. I don’t think it’s anything too serious," Walker said. "I couldn’t throw my best stuff, so there was really no point in keeping going and making it worse."
His exit led to a parade of relievers, including Sean Reid-Foley, who tossed three perfect innings. Jeurys Familia, Trevor May (one run) and Edwin Diaz finished it off.
"The bullpen has done a tremendous job," Rojas said, "when games like this show up."
For Atlanta (19-22), lefthander Max Fried allowed one run in six innings-plus. That tally came in the seventh, when Nido led off with a double and scored on McCann’s pinch-hit double against Webb. Fried exited the game as a precautionary measure, the Braves announced, because of cramping in his hand.
That brought in Webb, who loaded the bases with two outs, bringing Pillar to the plate.
"A normal person doesn’t realize how fast that ball is coming in there and how quick you have to react," McCann said. "It was one of those things where it looked like that ball was chasing him."
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