Denard Span led off the bottom of the 1st for the Giants and laced a sure three-base hit into the little nook in right known as Triples Alley. Jason Heyward was playing relatively shallow, so there was no way he was going to get to the ball. I mean, no mortal could have closed the distance, so you had to assume it was a big hit.
Except…no. He couldn’t. Or could he? Heyward broke on contact and tracked the ball, diving at exactly the right moment to snag the drive as it made its way toward the wall. And then the best right fielder in baseball made his way toward the wall…and immediately reached for his left side. He managed to hold up his glove to prove that he’d completed the catch. And then the best right fielder in baseball laid there. And laid there.
The Cubs players crowded around Heyward and the trainers ran out to give him the once-over, eventually getting him to his feet. Even after watching the play several times, it was hard to tell exactly what had happened. Heyward looked to have hit the wall with his left shoulder but he grabbed for his side. Maybe he had just aggravated a nerve or something (fingers crossed).
Heyward walked off under his own power, but a trainer was supporting his left arm at the elbow and bicep. The initial reports from the Cubs were that he’d suffered a right torso/abdominal injury, which is a bit amorphous. Regardless of the diagnosis, there’s one thing I keep coming back to here: DUDE MADE THE CATCH AND HELD ON. Heyward was on a dead sprint to the deepest part of the park, laid out, went into the wall, and kept the ball in his glove.
“My lower rib bone and hip bone hit each other,” Heyward told reporters after the game. “I got pushed up against the wall, that was it.”
He went on to say that he was relieved nothing was broken and that he was uncomfortable, though he didn’t have any sharp pain. The initial prognosis is positive, but Heyward has an MRI scheduled for Saturday morning to determine exactly what’s going on in there
I don’t care if his swing is mad noisy, I’ll take this cat in right over pretty much anyone. Now let’s just hope Heyward doesn’t have any significant damage as the result of that highlight-reel grab.
UPDATE: Huge sigh of relief as it was revealed Saturday that Heyward only has a contusion near his ribs that will not require a DL stint to recover from. Should be out 3-5 days, maybe the duration of the road trip. In other news, Matt Szczur was activated and Neil Ramirez was DFA’ed to make room on the roster.