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Washington Nationals’ Adrian Sanchez takes a 97 MPH fastball to the chest... then gets a hit

In the eighth inning of Saturday’s game, Adrian Sanchez squared to bunt and took a 97 mph fastball from Jeurys Familia to the chest...

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Adrian Sanchez was down for a while after taking a 97 mph Jeurys Familia fastball to the chest in the eighth inning of Saturday afternoon’s game in the nation’s capital.

Sanchez squared to bunt with a runner on third and one out in what was a 6-4 game at the time. Familia threw a fastball way inside and Sanchez couldn’t get out of the way.

It was a scary moment for everyone involved.

“First thing that went through my head was — I was in Puerto Rico and I was facing Bruce Kison and I tried to bunt like that and it hit me right in the chest for a strike,” Dusty Baker told reporters after what ended up a 9-4 win for Washington.

“And the second thing I was just hoping that he was okay,” Baker said.

“I know it knocked the wind out of him, but you hope that he didn’t break a rib or something. That’s a strong bone right there in the chest, so I’m hoping that he’s okay and he’s not too sore in the following days.”

The 27-year-old infielder stayed faced down on the ground for quite a while without much movement. Baker was asked what, if anything Sanchez said while they were at the plate to check on him.

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

“He wasn’t saying nothing,” Baker said. “And I didn’t know what the situation was and then he got up slowly and he was walking to first base and he thought that it was a hit batsmen, and the umpire said, ‘Sorry, I got to tell you but he bunted at it,’ which I knew already, and [Sanchez] said he wanted to continue the at bat, so and then he got a hit.”

That’s right. Sanchez not only stayed in, but he took a 2-2 pitch through the left side for an RBI single that made it 7-4.

“Oh, yeah,” Baker said, obviously impressed. “That picked our team up and brought the house down too, because everybody here loves ‘Sanchie’ and we’re all pulling for him big time, so yeah, and that was a big hit he got, and he was surprised it was a strike, but he did bunt at it whether it’s self-defense or not, so I’m just glad it didn’t hit him in the face or something.”

Tough as he is, the veteran of eleven minor league campaigns in the Nationals’ system, who made his MLB debut earlier this season, was replaced by a pinch runner in the at bat that followed, but Baker said he wasn’t really surprised that Sanchez hung in there long enough to get the hit.

“If you’ve been in the minor leagues almost ten years,” he said, “then it’s going to take — I’d have had to bring a truck to haul him off the field because he wanted that at bat, so that was a very courageous at bat. He didn’t bail or nothing off a very hard-throwing Familia.”