Giancarlo Stanton is having an MVP-type season for the Miami Marlins. But that came to a screeching halt on Thursday night when he took an 88 mph fastball to the face and had to be carted off the field in an ambulance.
Stanton sustained multiple facial fractures, dental damage and cuts that needed stitches after being struck by Brewers pitch Mike Fiers.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Stanton, the major league RBI leader, likely was done for the season. There was so much blood in the batter's box, ESPN reported, that the grounds screw had to scrape it clean.
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 11: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins is hit by a pitch from Mike Fiers of the Milwaukee Brewers during the top of the fifth inning at Miller Park on September 11, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton falls down after being hit in the face with a pitch during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Milwaukee. Stanton was taken off the field on a stretcher. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) AP Photo/Morry Gash
Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton is taken off the field on a stretcher after being hit in the face with a pitch during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) AP Photo/Morry Gash
Fiers hit Reed Johnson in the hand with his next pitch, and that triggered a bench-clearing brawl. Marlins pitcher Anthony DeSclafani later beaned Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, which led to the pitcher's ejection.
Watch the crazy sequence of events below:
Fiers said he did not want to get into what happened after Johnson was hit.
"It was heat of the moment stuff," Fiers said. "I just want to make sure that Stanton is OK. I just want to send my thoughts and prayers and everything to Stanton."
"You never think of throwing at somebody like that. Never in my life has that happened. I just feel very, very sad that I hit him. I'm sorry to their teammates, their fans, his family. It is just tough."
Fiers tweeted an apology later in the night:
@Giancarlo818 I am deeply sorry about what happened tonight. I can't imagine what you and your family are going through. (Continue)...— Mike Fiers (@Fiers64) September 12, 2014
@Giancarlo818 my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I feel horrible and hope for a speedy recovery.— Mike Fiers (@Fiers64) September 12, 2014
Brewers catcher Jonathon Lucroy explained that Fiers pitches inside a lot.
"[Fiers] gets a lot of [strikeouts] on fastballs up, and the ball just got away from him," he said. "You saw what happened. It was definitely a scary moment. You never wish that on anybody. It's just a freak accident."
Redmond wasn't pleased.
"He hit a guy in the mouth, number one," he said. "After he hit Reed in the hand, he looks in our dugout, throws his hands up in the air like 'Hey, why are you guys mad?' You just knocked out our best player, hit him in the mouth, and then you just hit another guy in the hand. What are we supposed to do? What type of reaction do you think we're trying to give you?"
The Brewers ended up winning 4-2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.