These are the moments you realize the unique terror that percolates constantly in a baseball game. Players don’t think about it because they can’t — because to think about it would keep them from ever stepping into a batter’s box, or onto a pitcher’s rubber, or in front of a line drive traveling 116 miles per hour.
No. Can’t think about any of that.
That’s why the pictures from Atlanta’s Truist Park Monday night were so poignant, so telling, so emotional. The Mets and the Braves, to a man, saw Kevin Pillar get clocked in the face by a 94.5 mph fastball out of the fingers of Atlanta’s Jacob Webb. They saw the blood gush from Pillar’s face, pooling in the dirt around the plate, enough that the grounds crew would have to tend to the area for five minutes between innings.
“You shake your head,” Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker said. “You get sick to your stomach.”
“Time stands still,” James McCann said.