A young boy sitting in the first few rows off the Cubs dugout survived a scary moment after a bat went flying out of Giancarlo Stanton’s hands and smashed his face. That sixth-inning scene on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field could have been so much worse.
Cubs officials met with the family and the boy returned to the lower-level seats by the end of a 9-7 comeback victory over the Miami Marlins.
“That’s a tough little kid right there,” pitcher Jeff Samardzija said afterward. “That (bat) didn’t hit anything but that kid’s – I hate to say it – his jaw. They got him out of there. It was tough to see. But they brought the kid back and it looked like he was doing all right.
“So he’ll have a good story for the rest of his life. He took a bat to the face and walked away from it.”
Whether or not Samardzija lost focus, the game did stop for a few uneasy moments. Stanton then drove a hard single into left field, Justin Ruggiano singled into center and Logan Morrison walked on five pitches. After a visit to the mound from pitching coach Chris Bosio, Adeiny Hechavarria slammed Samardzija’s 92 mph cutter into the left-center field bleachers for a grand slam.
Samardzija (8-11, 4.29 ERA) – who reached 189 innings for the season and got bailed out with a no-decision after home runs from Ryan Sweeney and Donnie Murphy – said the accident didn’t rattle him.
“I did what I wanted to do,” Samardzija said. “They just found the hole. And then obviously you don’t want to walk Morrison there. It didn’t effect me. It was just a freak thing. It’s unfortunate to see.”