This one was painful, and not just because the Pirates blew a late lead and lost, 5-4, to the Marlins in 10 innings Tuesday night at PNC Park.
No, there was actual pain for a pair of their rookies.
The first involved top pitching prospect Mitch Keller. He exited in the second inning after being struck by a comebacker on the right wrist, a 105.5-mph liner off the bat of Garrett Cooper:
You can exhale, though. While Keller did have a brace on in the clubhouse after the game, initial scans indicated a contusion, not a fracture.
"That's definitely a relief," Keller said, while also acknowledging several times that the wrist still hurt.
He left with athletic trainer Bryan Housand without trying to throw a warmup pitch to test it.
But hey, at least he made the catch, with the ball bouncing off the wrist and right into his glove.
"Honestly, I have no idea," Keller said on how he did it. "I was trying to defend myself. I guess that was the lucky part of the play."
That is some quality cup-half-full thinking. Still, it was a "frustrating" night for Keller, as he'd term it, and justifiably so. Even if the injury doesn't prove serious, it still took him out of a game where he was in an early groove. Keller retired all five batters he faced, striking out three. For a guy coming off a loss where he allowed 11 hits, Tuesday could have been a morale boost.
"That was the best I felt in a long time out there," Keller said. "Everything was really working, and I felt really good. Felt like it was going to be one of those games ... that was going to be really good for me, for the team."
In the eighth, the newly promoted Jason Martin became the second victim. After getting on base by working a 10 pitch, pinch-hit walk, Martin eventually landed on third base with two outs. There, he got an opportunity to score on a wild pitch, and while he was successful, pitcher Jarlin Garcia landed on his left shoulder during the collision at the plate.
Martin became the second player to leave with Housand.
"Very similar feeling," Clint Hurdle said, comparing Keller's and Martin's injuries. "Just got called up back to the big leagues. Both young guys are trying to get something done the last month. Both of them leave the game under situations they wouldn't have chosen, for sure."
Martin was not available to the media after the game. There was no update on his status as of late Tuesday night.
"Just a hard play," Keller said of the Martin injury. "Can't really do anything about it. Just dumb luck. Both plays were."