Jul 9, 2011, 4:26 AM EST
John Lannan departs the field after taking a line drive off his face.
The ball came screaming off Ty Wigginton’s bat, and in the millisecond that followed, the best John Lannan could do was raise his glove and hope to deflect the projectile that was making a beeline for his face.
Lannan didn’t get the glove all the way up, but he did manage to deflect the ball just enough to disperse some of its force before it smashed into the left side of his nose.
It may not have looked like much, but that slight deflection may have made all the difference in the world. Though Lannan had to rush off the field in the top of the fourth, blood dripping from his nose, the Nationals left-hander appeared to avoid serious injury. He may even make his next scheduled start coming out of the All-Star break.
That was easily the best news to come out of Friday night’s 3-2 loss to the Rockies, an otherwise frustrating ballgame for the Nationals that featured a couple more unsightly at-bats from Jayson Werth in crucial moments.
“It’s a manager’s worst nightmare,” Davey Johnson said. “We were very fortunate that there isn’t a lot of damage. That ball was smoked, and the good news is he got his glove up to deflect it off him, so it
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