Jason Heyward takes pitch to head, exits game

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves right fielder was struck by a Jon Niese fastball, and walked off under his own power.

Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was removed from Wednesday's day game against the New York Mets after taking a Jon Niese fastball to the side of the head. Heyward would get up and exit the field mostly under his own power -- he was leaning slightly on the Braves' trainer -- and was clearly dazed from the moment the pitch struck him.

Heyward took the fastball directly to the ear flap on his helmet, which helped to cushion the blow, but we're still talking about being hit in the side of the head by an object traveling 90 miles per hour. Mets catcher John Buck immediately caught Heyward as he was falling, helping him land on the ground slowly instead of simply collapsing:

Heyward-hbp

The primary concern, as it is after any head trauma like this, is whether or not Heyward has suffered a concussion. That's something we aren't likely to know for some time, though, as he will have to undergo testing. Heyward was checked out by team doctors immediately following the hit by pitch, and will be sent to a local hospital to undergo X-rays to see if he has a broken jaw.

Heyward was batting .254/.348/.426 with a 110 OPS+ entering Wednesday's contest, and his defense has been integral to the Braves' rise to the top of the National League East. If he's forced to miss any time due to this incident, it will mean more playing time for Evan Gattis and Jordan Schafer, the Braves' backup corner outfielders.

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