Kevin Pillar immediately went face down to the dirt. Blood covered his nose — so much of it, in fact, that the grounds crew at Truist Park rushed onto the field to clean it up.
With the bases loaded in the seventh inning of Monday night’s game, Atlanta reliever Jacob Webb drilled Pillar in the face with a 95 mph fastball. James McCann, who was on third, went toward the mound to talk to catcher Jeff Mathis to ask if he saw where it hit Pillar. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman stood with his hands behind his head, displaying obvious concern. Webb wore a sad look on his face because he didn’t intend to hurt Pillar.
“Devastating,” catcher Tomás Nido said. “I was sick to my stomach.”
“It’s real scary,” McCann said. “Everything kind of stops for a second. He gets hit by the pitch and the last thing on my mind is going to touch home plate.”
“Man, it’s scary,” right-hander Taijuan Walker said. “You never want to see anyone get hit in the face or hit in the head by a ball, especially coming at that velocity. Pillar is a tough guy. It’s just one of those things where you kind of just shake your head and you’re sick to your stomach.”