Umpire Nate Tomlinson is helped by Dodgers' trainer Nate Lucero after being hit by a broken bat.

The Los Angeles DodgersLos Angeles Angels game Tuesday night had a scary incident in the ninth inning. Angels’ star Mike Trout broke his bat hitting a single on a fastball from Dodgers’ closer Craig Kimbrel, and a piece of the broken bat flew back into home plate umpire Nate Tomlinson, going through his facemask and hitting him in the face.

Dodgers’ trainer Nate Lucero examined Tomlinson and cleaned blood off his face, and Tomlinson was able to walk off the field. He was taken to an emergency room for further evaluation, while second base umpire Laz Diaz took over behind the plate. Fortunately, though, as per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Tomlinson wasn’t seriously injured:

After the game, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts discussed the incident. Here’s what he said, via The Athletic:

“In the mask, the broken part of the bat, that was really scary. I heard that it hit his nose. And so that’s, I guess, the best-case scenario. A very scary moment.”

It’s fortunate indeed that Tomlinson didn’t wind up with a serious injury here. As per MLB.com, Kimbrel’s pitch was clocked at 96.4 miles per hour, so that broken bat came back at Tomlinson with a lot of velocity. And this easily could have been much worse.

[USA Today, The Athletic; photo from Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.