Scary injury forces Phillies' Realmuto to leave game against Cardinals

The Phillies catcher had a scary incident in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto left Tuesday's game after being hit in the throat with a pitch
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto left Tuesday's game after being hit in the throat with a pitch / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

Say what you will about the Philadelphia Phillies' underwhelming start to the season, one thing they have managed to do is avoid serious injuries to key players early on. That looked like it might have changed on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.

With the Cardinals up 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning at Busch Stadium, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto was the center of a concerning incident when he took a ball to the throat. Phillies starter Zack Wheeler was working against Cardinals left fielder Brendan Donovan and with an 0-1 count, on his 103rd pitch of the game, the righty bounced a curveball that ricocheted up under Realmuto's mask.

The Phillies catcher, who was immediately stunned and doubled over, quickly reaching for his throat, had thoughts about trying to find the ball that had bounced away from him, with Cardinals' speedy rookie Victor Scott II taking off for second base. But there was no chance he was going to make another play in this game.

Realmuto was unable to even find the ball, in obvious distress. Manager Rob Thomson and head athletic trainer Paul Buchheit ran out of the dugout to check on the backstop, and after a few minutes, Realmuto luckily walked off the field under his own power.

After the game, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Scott Lauber, the team reported that Realmuto tested negative for a concussion and has a bruised neck. He will be evaluated tomorrow, so we don't yet know the extent of the injury. This news comes as a blow to a struggling Phillies lineup, and will indeed affect the pitching staff if he's absent from active duty for any length of time.

Realmuto is swinging the bat well to begin the season. The three-time All-Star and Silver Slugger is hitting .273 with a .788 OPS with a pair of home runs in 33 at-bats.

The scary incident didn't do much to lift the team's spirits. They scattered eight hits and wasted seven quality innings from Wheeler, falling by a 3-0 final. The Phillies are below .500 again at 5-6 and will try to win the series tomorrow afternoon.