Chad Pinder is very lucky he was able to walk off the field at the Coliseum on Monday night.
The Athletics utility player was hit by a pitch on the head by Los Angeles Angels reliever Junior Guerra in the bottom of the seventh inning, and it was scary.
Pinder was so quick to react to 81-mph splitter coming right at him that he actually caused his helmet to come off head early, exposing himself to the ball.
Instead of the ball hitting Pinder's protective helmet, it hit him flush in the head, right behind his left ear.
Pinder understandably was in immediate pain. Luckily for him and the A's, he was able to walk off the field under his own power.
Manager Bob Melvin told reporters after the A's 8-5 win that Pinder isn't in the concussion protocol.
"Pretty scary because he's had a few concussion issues in the past," Melvin said. "Scary for anybody, but for someone that's had some issues in the past, even a little more concern, so we'll see how he is tomorrow and we'll monitor him tonight."
That could have been much, much worse for Pinder.
Pinder was the second straight batter Guerra had hit after he plunked A's catcher Sean Murphy. Murphy was hit earlier in the game by Angels reliever James Hoyt and Mark Canha wore one on a pitch by Angels starter Dylan Bundy.
Angels catcher Max Stassi was hit by a pitch from A's reliever Burch Smith.
The A's and Angels began a three-game series, and the way things went Monday night, things could get testy between the AL West rivals.