It has been a dangerous season for pitchers, with Juan Nicasio of the Colorado Rockies suffering a broken neck when struck by a ball and Roy Oswalt escaping injury after being struck on the head in spring training.
On Sunday, Jason Marquis of the Arizona Diamondbacks suffered a broken right fibula when he was struck by a line drive. He is expected to be out four-to-six weeks.
The extent of the injury wasn’t instantly apparent because, after being struck by the hit off the bat of Angel Pagan of the New York Mets in the third inning, Marquis came out to pitch the fourth. After striking Josh Thole with a pitch, he went to the ground clutching his right leg (and Thole fell to the ground as well) and had to leave the game.
“I was put in a good position coming over here,” Marquis said, speaking of the July 30 trade that sent him from Washington to Arizona. “I finally was getting the results I had wanted to, so to finish on this note ... Hopefully it's not the end.”
Marquis initially thought the injury was minor. “I thought it was just tightness from a bruise,” Marquis said. “The pain was enough I could deal with to stay out there. I just felt something pop, and [team physician Michael Lee] said it completed the break.”
If he’s looking for inspiration and comfort, he might check out Bob Gibson, who went through a similar experience in 1967. He returned to the mound the inning after being struck by a line drive hit by Roberto Clemente in a game on July 15, 1967. Gibson collapsed on the mound the next inning and was out until Sept. 7. After that, though, he went on a historic tear: he went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA and, as the Cardinals won the World Series, he went 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA. The following season was his brilliant 1.12 ERA season.