Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins was hit in the face by a fastball on Thursday night during a game against the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Roughly 10 minutes later, New York Yankees designated hitter Chase Headley was also hit in the face by a fastball in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Stanton, an MVP candidate who leads the National League in home runs and RBI, was hit in the 5th inning by Mike Fiers. He suffered multiple facial fractures, dental damage and a laceration on his face that required stitches, the Sun Sentinel reported.
WARNING: Some of the images below are graphic.
Images of Stanton being hit quickly made the rounds on social media, including a Vine showing the pitch connecting with the 24-year-old outfielder's face:
Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt and Marlins beat writer Clark Spencer described the scene on Twitter:
USA Today producer Alex Ptachick tweeted an image of Stanton on the cart, blood still on his face:
Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled that Stanton actually swung at the pitch as it hit him in the face, making it a strike.
After the incident, Fiers hit another Miami batter, causing the benches to clear and leading to a beanball war and multiple ejections, including Marlins manager Mike Redmond and, later on, interim manager Rob Leary.
Fiers apologized via Twitter after the game.
"I am deeply sorry about what happened tonight. I can't imagine what you and your family are going through," he wrote. "(M)y thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I feel horrible and hope for a speedy recovery."
The Marlins were reportedly on the verge of offering Stanton the largest contract in team history, according to USA Today.
"He's the leader of this franchise,'' team president David Samson told the newspaper. "We always knew the talent he had, but what he's done this year, playing every day, he's the definition of a game-changer."
In the Yankees game, Chase Headley went down in the 9th inning after taking a pitch from Jake McGee on the chin.
"This is one of the scariest things in baseball," Yankees announcer and former player Paul O'Neill said during the broadcast. "This and the line drive right back at the pitcher. You just don't have time to protect yourself."
Headley, who was bleeding from the chin, left the game.
Chase Headley takes a pitch right off the chin pic.twitter.com/DwIISSl2dW
— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) September 12, 2014
"He will go to the doctor and have a facial X-ray because he got hit in the chin. It doesn’t appear that he needs stitches and his teeth are still all there, but I still think you have to get his jaw X-rayed," manager Joe Girardi told reporters after the game, according to the Journal News. "Obviously, he won’t go with us to Baltimore. He can join us at some point tomorrow, but he will not leave with us to Baltimore tonight.”