Chad Pinder leaves game after hit by pitch in head

Athletics Nation

June 14, 2021

The Oakland A’s had a scary moment during their game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

In the 7th inning, right fielder Chad Pinder was hit in the head by a pitch and exited the game.

To make matters worse, in Pinder’s attempt to get out of the way his helmet was jarred out of place, so the ball appeared to miss it entirely and peg him directly in the back of the head. He fell to the ground and kicked his legs in obvious pain, but a few moments later he was able to stand up and walk off the field under his own power.

Personal observation: It looks like when he ducked, the extra-long protective side-flap caught on his shoulder and pushed the helmet off his head. As more batters use those long flaps, is this something to consider as a potential unexpected design flaw, or is it just an incredibly unlucky fluke that won’t happen again?

Pinder was removed immediately and replaced by a pinch-runner. Fortunately, manager Bob Melvin delivered encouraging news after the game, via NBC Sports:

“He’s not in concussion protocol right now. We’ll see how he is tomorrow, but pretty scary [especially] because he’s had a few concussion issues in the past.”

One of Pinder’s past concussions came in 2017, after colliding with the outfield wall on defense. That happened in late-September and cost him the final nine games of that season.

Pinder already dealt with a different injury in this current summer, as he sprained his knee making a catch in the fourth game of the year. That sent him to the injured list for the rest of April, and he returned in mid-May and has since played 23 games.

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