Matt Manning’s season ended after he fractured his foot

NEW YORK – As Matt Manning stumbled into the Visitors Club at Yankee Stadium on crutches, the truth of his condition was already beginning to emerge.

In the first inning of his second straight start against the Bronx Bombers, Manning was hit in the same foot, just slightly higher, by Yankees quarterback Giancarlo Stanton, who hit his 400th career home run on Tuesday. Launched at an outfield speed of 119.5 mph, according to Statcast, Stanton made direct contact with Manning’s foot and then his backside before the pitcher caught him and threw him to first base for the out.

After allowing his first two batters to reach base, that line allowed Manning to escape a two-out and two-out jam. But when he raised his hands and bent down to watch the play, with head coach AJ Hench and the Tigers’ medical staff coming out to check on him, it was clear Manning’s night was over.

“Yeah, when that happened, I freaked out because it was the same foot. Basically in the same place,” Manning said. “I said to myself, ‘Uh, I don’t know if it’s broken; I hope that is not the case. You did the play, though, that’s great.

Manning walked off the field with his own power, but x-rays revealed it was indeed another fracture. Thus ended the 2023 season.

“I feel for him, man,” said Hinch, “because he worked so hard to come back. He was throwing the ball really well. He made it through that half and, unfortunately, he got in the way of the ball.”

Stanton’s running back had the second-hardest outing of any ball hit in the major leagues this season, behind Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 121.2-mph home run for the Braves on Saturday. Naturally, this player only touched the net behind the midfield wall at Dodger Stadium.

Manning was replaced by reliever Beau Brieske to start the second half, turning the contest into another bullpen for the Tigers a day after taking that approach in the Series opener. Detroit used six more pitchers to beat Wednesday, with Briskey losing after allowing three runs on four hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings.

“You can probably count in terms of how many pitchers have hurt their feet with line drives this season; he’s had it twice. That’s very unfortunate,” Hinch said. “119 (mph) from any part of your body is likely to put you on the list of injured. … There’s not much you can do once you’ve made the delivery and the guy smokes the ball out of you. All you can do is hope the x-ray comes back negative. This did not.

It’s another blow in a youthful career filled with such troubles for Manning, who hasn’t completed a full season since making his Majors debut in June 2021. Last year, he struggled with a sore right shoulder and a right forearm strain.

Manning has made just 15 appearances this season, 13 of them since returning from his first break on June 27. However, he has been playing well whenever his number has been called, especially lately. He has allowed only one earned run (0.38 ERA) over his past four starts and has compiled 17 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings—the fifth-longest active streak in the major leagues—and entered Wednesday’s contest. He threw six scoreless innings in the Tigers’ 4-3 victory over the Yankees in Thursday’s final four-game game in Detroit.

That’s what he chose to stick to in the wake of yet another bizarre injury.

“I really think the most important thing right now is just to stay on the field,” Manning said. “When I pitch and throw, I’ve pitched pretty well the last few years. So it’s about having a little bit of luck on my side and staying in the field for a full season.”

(tags for translation) MLB

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