Sunday was a long, grueling day for both the Phillies and Nationals and it was most difficult for Austin Voth, the Nats starting pitcher who went two innings before being hit in the face and forced out.
Vince Velasquez hit Voth with a 90 mph fastball in the third inning, breaking his nose. It was a scary, bloody scene. As the Nationals traveled to Tampa after the game, Voth remained in Philadelphia to have his nose reset.
Velasquez was still shaken up four hours after unintentionally nailing his counterpart.
“When you see something on TV, guys getting hit in the head, it’s very scary,” Velasquez said. “And for you to kind of do it in a way where you visually see it first-hand, it can be traumatizing. At the same time, I still have to go out there and execute and make some pitches.”
It isn’t the first time this season the Phillies have been involved in one of these scary situations. On April 28 in St. Louis, Bryce Harper was hit in the face by a 97 mph fastball. He avoided serious facial damage but missed a total of 13 games with a wrist/forearm contusion caused by the ball ricocheting off his face to that area.
“I feel terrible for Voth in that situation,” Velasquez said. “I would hate to be in his shoes. No matter the damage or anything, it can be traumatizing on both ends. I hope he recovers and gets back to full speed.”
Voth pitched two perfect innings before exiting. Velasquez allowed three runs in four innings, throwing 80 pitches. His next start is scheduled for next weekend at home against the struggling Yankees.
After the game, Nationals manager Dave Martinez referenced the danger of MLB's emphasis on preventing pitchers from using foreign substances to maintain a grip on the baseball.
"I hate to bring it up, but you will see more of that if we keep messing around with the stuff about the balls," Martinez said. "It's hot, it's slippery, guys are sweaty.
"I know that Velasquez didn't throw intentionally. But I'm afraid that if we don't come up with something unified for that, you'll see a lot more of that. And that's a scary feeling because these guys throw 95, 96, 97 mph."
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