The Pirates' dominating 7-2 victory over the Marlins Thursday was overshadowed by a frightening injury to Marlins reliever Dan Jennings.
Jordy Mercer hit a line drive in the seventh inning that struck Jennings in the head -- it appeared to hit him right in the temple. Jennings went down and then tried to stand, but with a foggy look and off-balance posture that were downright terrifying. I hope this won't trivialize what happened, but Jennings looked like an actor in a bad horror movie -- the look of obvious confusion on his face wouldn't have looked realistic if it had been fiction. (You can see the video here if you like, but it's not for the faint of heart.) The Marlins removed Jennings from the game on a cart, and he waved to the fans at PNC on his way off the field. Let's hope he's okay, because the injury looked horrible. What happened today is a reminder that pitchers don't have adequate time to protect themselves against line drives, and it would be nice to see MLB move to have pitchers wear protective headgear of the sort that the Padres' Alex Torres has worn this season.
(UPDATE: Jennings has been diagnosed with a concussion, but his CT scan was negative, which is great news.)
Anyway, the actual game went well for the Pirates. Edinson Volquez got the benefit of some questionable strike calls, but he pitched very well, coasting through seven shutout innings while striking out seven batters and walking three. Gregory Polanco had a terrific game -- he knocked in two runs with a single in the fourth, gunned down a runner at third on a double play in the fifth, and brought home two more runs with a deep double to center in the eighth.
Brian Flynn, a soft-tossing lefty who didn't have much in the way of command today, got through three scoreless innings, but Polanco and the Pirates' offense really started getting to him in the fourth. By the end of the fifth, they had piled up five runs, and it wasn't much of a contest after that. Justin Wilson struck out two in a scoreless eighth. Stolmy Pimentel struck out two in the ninth, although he struggled with his breaking ball and gave up a two-run homer to Giancarlo Stanton.