The Cubs and Reds are playing a pretty ridiculous game today in Cincinnati. Tied at 12 in the 8th inning, a shallow fly ball to center almost fell between center fielder Ian Happ and second baseman Nico Hoerner.
Hoerner made a great catch, but at a potentially even greater cost to the Cubs, with a sliding Happ taking a shot to the face that left him in immediate distress.
A collision between Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ pic.twitter.com/UyTdV5K5hy
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) May 2, 2021
That’s just so, so scary. Relative to the constant contact of football, baseball doesn’t really have these moments often, and if they happen it’s almost always because players have no idea that a collision is imminent, which can lead to some horrible injuries.
Prayers for Ian Happ. 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/cEekkUL1RJ
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) May 2, 2021
Happ was carted off with a bleeding face, which would be bad news in any case but it’s especially unfortunate for a player who had just rediscovered something at the plate. Happ had been slumping to start the year, but had looked a lot better in recent games and had actually cranked a game-tying home run in the top half of the inning.
Clutch crush. pic.twitter.com/KIFx5Ob0f5
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) May 2, 2021
It was the tenth home run of the game (again, it’s a wild one), but now obviously the bigger questions are health-related. The Cubs were forced to press injured Wilson Contreras into action behind the plate, too; hopefully for them the collision isn’t compounded by further injuries resulting from the ensuing subs.
Now it looks like the emergency situation is happening as Willson Contreras comes off the bench to catch, Wolters to IF and Hoerner (who was just involved in that collision) moves to LF. Bryant goes to CF
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) May 2, 2021
But mostly the concerns are for Happ. We never want to diagnose players from afar, but whenever violent head collisions occur it’s hard not to wonder about concussions and potential lingering effects.