MILWAUKEE — Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton suffered multiple facial fractures, dental damage and a facial laceration requiring stitches after being hit in the face by a pitch from Brewers starter Mike Fiers in the fifth inning on Thursday night.
The update on Stanton’s condition was released by the Marlins, who said Stanton would return to Miami on Friday for further evaluation. It was not known how long Stanton would be sidelined, although Marlins manager Mike Redmond and teammates were not optimistic.
Stanton lay motionless on the field at home plate for several minutes as he was attended to by medical personnel. He was placed on a gurney and taken from the field on an ambulance cart. Stanton underwent X-rays and a CT scan at a local hospital, the Marlins announced before the end of their 4-2 loss to the Brewers.
“He didn’t lose consciousness out on the field, but he was bleeding heavily out of his mouth,” Redmond said before learning the extent of Stanton’s injuries.
When asked if he thought Stanton was out for the remainder of the season, Redmond said: “I don’t know. It’s not looking good, that’s for sure. It’s devastating for us. Devastating. For his season to end like that, that’s not good.”
Stanton, whose 37 homers and 105 RBIs are both tops in the National League, came to the plate with runners on first and third with two outs and the Marlins trailing, 4-0. The second pitch from Fiers ran up and in, striking Stanton in the face as he turned into the pitch.
“He was awake, which was good,” said third baseman Casey McGehee, who was the on-deck hitter. “You could tell it got him good, right away. It’s tough to see. It’s tough to see a guy in that condition.
“You hate to see it happen to anybody, it just so happened to be — to happen to the best player in the National League this year. Right now, I just hope G’s OK.”
Fiers reached out to Stanton on Twitter, saying, “I am deeply sorry about what happened tonight. I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through. … my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I feel horrible and hope for a speedy recovery.”
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said he did not know how alert Stanton was after getting hit.
“I don’t know, man. He had his eyes closed and was laying there,” Lucroy said. “I don’t know. I just backed away when the trainers ran out. I was just kind of praying that he’s OK. I’ve been hit in the head before like that. You never wish that on anybody.
“[In college], a guy came up and in on me and dropped me and knocked me out. I have a scar right here on my temple to prove it. I had to have surgery for a hematoma, a bleeding blood vessel on my temple they had to go [repair] because it wouldn’t stop bleeding. It was a bad situation. Like I said, any time that happens, you never want to see that.”
First-base umpire D.J. Reyburn ruled that Stanton swung, so pinch-hitter Reed Johnson came up to complete the at-bat with an 0-2 count. Fiers’ first pitch to Johnson hit him on the right hand as he was swinging, resulting in an inning-ending strikeout of Stanton.
The benches cleared after the second incident, with Redmond and McGehee ejected.
“I’ve never seen anything like that, and I’ve definitely never seen two swings called on those plays. That’s for sure,” Redmond said. “I’ve never seen a guy get hit in the mouth and called for a swing. He’s out there bleeding at home plate, and for the first-base ump to say he swung at that pitch … he’s coughing up blood. What a joke.”
McGehee said he was ejected for arguing about both pitches being called swinging strikes.
“I got thrown out for arguing swings, is what I got thrown out for,” said McGehee. “I guess I’ve got to know better, but at the same time, you see our best player laying there, knowing he’s going to the hospital and carted off the field, and that’s ruled a swing. And then the next pitch hits the next guy, almost the same pitch, and that’s ruled a swing, too.”
Crew chief Jeff Kellogg said he checked with Reyburn on both pitches.
“They were both ruled swings,” Kellogg said. “I went to the first-base umpire, and he definitely did swing at the pitch. We’ve both looked at it and, yes, he did swing — they both did — at those pitches. On both of those, I went to D.J., and both times, he called it a swing.”
Warnings were issued, and in the sixth inning, Marlins reliever Anthony DeSclafani was ejected after hitting Carlos Gomez in the left elbow. As acting manager, Marlins bench coach Rob Leary was automatically ejected along with DeSclafani.
“We deal with this, and occasionally it happens; not very often, but it does,” Kellogg said. “When you see somebody get hit like Stanton did, that’s upsetting to everybody on the field, but we still have to umpire.”
Fiers, who came out of the game after hitting Stanton and Johnson, was extremely emotional afterward in the Brewers’ clubhouse.
“It was very tough. I’ve never in my life experienced something like that,” said Fiers. “It was very hard for me to take in everything at the moment and come back and throw another pitch. I just want to send my thoughts and prayers and everything to Giancarlo Stanton. You never think of throwing at somebody like that. Never in my life has that happened. I just feel very, very sad that I hit him. I’m sorry to their teammates, their fans, his family. It is just tough.”
Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.