The pitcher who was drilled in the head by a line drive Saturday was released from a Houston area hospital and placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday afternoon.
Chris Jakubauskas suffered a concussion and a head contusion when he was nailed by a Lance Berkman line drive, creating a cut by his right ear. He was taken off the field on a cart and rushed to the hospital. The Pittsburgh Pirates 31-year old luckily escaped any skull fractures or excessive bleeding, but won’t be back in the lineup until late May.
“That’s not the best thing to happen to you, but it’s a part of the game,” he said. “I’m lucky it got me in a place where it didn’t do too much damage. I’m a little tired and woozy, but the pain’s gone down and the swelling goes down every time I ice it.”
His parents attended the game to see his first start of the season after being called up from the minors on Friday.
He was back in the dugout Sunday afternoon as the Pirates were swept by the Astros. He said he has a full memory of the incident and trainers confirmed he never lost consciousness.
“I remember throwing the pitch, I remember asking if it was a glancing blow, and being told that it hit me flush,” he said. “The guys were telling me, when I was kicking my feet, I was trying to defer the pain from my body. I have been hit in the chest before, but not in the back of the head.”
Berkman visited Jakubauskas in the hospital to check on his condition, and was one of over 70 people to send text messages.
“Been a long day, looking forward to getting out of Houston for a little bit,” he said. “Trying to catch up on some sleep, get the rehab process going and hopefully get back on the pretty quick.”
“He’s doing pretty good,” manager John Russell said. “He’s feeling OK, a little tired obviously. We were fortunate. It could’ve been a lot worse. It’s looking like it’s working out pretty good for him. He was in pretty good spirits.”
His injury forced Russell to go to his bullpen in the third inning, draining some unexpected innings out of his relievers. The front office has been scrambling to shuffle the roster as well, recalling lefty Brian Burres from Triple-A, while adding righty Brian Bass.
“It gives us two guys who are capable of pitching long,” Russell said. “Just gives us options for multiple innings, but also guys who can do a good job for us. The main thing is the bullpen is pretty taxed. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got some coverage.”