Anticipating the return of Ross Stripling from the 10-day injured list, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a change for Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks by bumping Dustin May into the bullpen.
The plan called for Stripling to pitch two or three innings, with May then piggybacking the right-hander. Stripling benefitted from inducing two double plays as he faced the minimum through three scoreless innings.
May entered with a 3-0 lead but failed to get through the fourth inning. After the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one out, May was struck in the head by a line drive that caromed into left field for a game-tying, two-run single.
He immediately went to the ground and clutched at his head as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a trainer rushed out of the dugout. Upon being removed from the game, May passed a concussion test, according to David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports:
Dave Roberts said Dustin May passed a concussion test. Contusion to the head is diagnosis. #Dodgers
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) September 2, 2019
After rolling over to lay on his back, May was helped to his feet. He appeared to suggest the ball skipped off his glove and lobbied to remain in the game. The Dodgers understandably did not oblige and May walked off the field under his own power.
L.A. presumably will err on the side of caution before inserting May into another game, whether as a starter or out of the bullpen. He pitched on seven days’ rest before starting against the San Diego Padres last week, and another five days prior to Sunday’s relief appearance.
While in a much more heart-stopping manner, the rookie pitcher is the second Dodgers player to avoid serious injury within the past few days. Max Muncy sustained what’s been described as a minor fracture after being by a pitch in the right wrist.
Muncy believes he will only miss around two weeks and make a full recovery in time for Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 3.