Now that he's seen the video replay of the lined shot by Colorado's Ty Wigginton that struck him in the face Friday night, Nationals left-hander John Lannan has been able to fill in the blanks from the incident that forced him from the game after 3 1/3 innings.
The good news: A little swelling and redness, and some nasal bleeding, are all that remain from the ball that could have done significantly more damage. Lannan reported Saturday that he has some broken cartilage on the right side of his nose, but he doesn't expect to miss any time and intends to make his scheduled start next Saturday at Atlanta.
"I guess I got a piece of it with my glove," Lannan said. "I was able to move my head a little bit so it nicked my nose. But at the time, I didn't know what was going on. I just saw blood and figured I wasn't going to be able to pitch any more, so I walked off. It wasn't as bad as it looked."
Of course, Lannan didn't know that at the time. Balls through the box are an occupational hazard that all pitchers fear, and once he saw blood, Lannan figured his night was over. That explained his quick departure from the mound to the clubhouse.
"At first I didn't know exactly where it hit me," he recalled. "Once the doc kind of checked it out and pressed my face, I knew it wasn't that bad. I was able to get an X-ray right away and then ice it. Made a phone call to make sure my parents knew I was all right. That was the extent of it - I was aware the whole time, just taken back by getting hit."
Lannan had another reason for checking out the replay - to make sure he defended his position properly.
"I just want to see if I got my glove up there, if I reacted to it, and I did," he said.
There was no vision impairment, just a brief period where Lannan didn't know the extent of the injury his sustained because his face was numb.
"Just a little shocked. ... I couldn't feel it. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know how my face looked," he said. "I just knew it was bleeding a lot."
Manager Davey Johnson stuck around after the game while Lannan was getting a battery of medical tests, to make sure his starting pitcher was OK. Once he was assured that was the case, Johnson realized he might not have to alter his rotation for the first series after the All-Star break in Atlanta. For now, right-hander Livan Hernandez will pitch Friday, followed by Lannan.
"I saw him last night," Johnson said, sounding pleasantly surprised by the turn of events. "I stayed late until he got back from the CT scan or MRI, whatever it was they gave him. He looked pretty good. So I think if the bleeding is kept under control - he won't do much, probably throw Thursday at the workout - I think we've got him scheduled to go Saturday. He may not miss a start."
Lannan was less worried about his own health and more concerned about putting the Nationals bullpen in a bad position.
"One part that sucked about it is that the bullpen has been worked and I was feeling pretty good," he said. "I was cruising right there. The fact that I had to exit the game kind of put the bullpen in a tough spot and I think they did a great job."
And the 91 mph pitch on a 1-1 count that wound up under his right eye?
"I thought my sinker would be the best pitch there," Lannan said. "Thinking about it now, I should have thrown a change-up."