Boston Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller recently dodged a major injury after he was hit in the head by a foul ball while standing in the dugout.
The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reported that Miller was in the dugout during the top of the ninth inning of Friday’s 3-2 10-inning win against the Minnesota Twins when the scary moment happened. A foul ball off the bat of teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia ricocheted off a wall and struck the left-hander in the forehead.
Miller had been searching for a piece of gum at the time and never saw the ball coming. He described to the Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber, "I heard something like whistling, and then, the next thing I know, I was like, 'I think something just hit me in the forehead.' I'm fine—I think."
Typically, Miller would have been sitting in the bullpen. However, he had just finished setting down the Twins in order in the eighth inning and was waiting to go back to the mound after the Red Sox finished hitting.
Despite the scare, Miller returned to the game and retired two more batters.
The game marked the southpaw’s finest performance of the year, as he went a season-long 1.2 innings—striking out three without allowing a baserunner.
Miller’s performance is part of a hot streak dating back to April 21, when his ERA stood at 6.75. Since that time, he has allowed just three runs and seven hits in his last nine innings (12 games), while striking out 16.
For the season, Miller is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 19 relief appearances. He has also averaged an impressive 15.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
Since Miller wasn’t hurt by the foul ball, his near miss is something that can be laughed off. If nothing else, he proved that not even a blow to the head can stop his recent momentum toward establishing himself as a dominant reliever.
Statistics via Baseball-Reference