There was a scary moment in the seventh inning of Sunday’s series finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks, when Washington Nationals’ reliever Tanner Rainey bounced an 0-2 slider that got Jarrod Dyson swinging, but shot up and hit catcher Kurt Suzuki in the neck/collar bone area.
Suzuki was clearly dazed, though he recovered the ball and made a throw to first that hit Dyson in numbers as he made his way to first (out of the path for baserunners).
The Nationals didn’t like the look of Suzuki’s reaction, however, so after a brief visit from trainer Paul Lessard and Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez, the catcher was replaced by Yan Gomes.
Martinez addressed the situation in his post-game press conference, telling reporters he made the decision to lift Suzuki.
“Kurt took a ball off the neck,” the manager explained, “and he wanted to stay in the game.”
“I was talking to him and he kind of looked a little funny,” Martinez said, “and I asked him to just pick your head up, and kind of look up, and when he did that he got really dizzy.
“So out of precaution I wanted to take him out. He saw the doctor. Doctor said he’s fine.
“He’s in there now and he said he was fine, so but kind of scary you know when he got kind of light-headed and couldn’t walk back to the dugout.”
Asked if they went through the concussion protocol, Martinez said, “well, it hit him in the neck. He said it happened before, and he got dizzy as well, and the doctor, saw him and checked him all out and he said he was fine.”
Suzuki told reporters on Monday, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, that doctors did check him out and cleared him of any concussion concerns, and Martinez said the catcher was available, if needed, in the series opener with the Philadelphia Phillies, though it ended up getting postponed.
Scary as it was at the time, it appears, as of now, that Suzuki, who said he had it happen to him once before when he was in high school in Hawaii, avoided any serious issues.