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Meek’s hand OK after being hit with line drive

August 30, 2010

MILWAUKEE — It may not have looked like it at the time, but Evan Meek and the Pirates were very lucky on Sunday.

Meek was struck in the right hand by a Ryan Braun line drive in the eighth inning on Sunday, which sent the All-Star reliever reeling to the ground. Fortunately, the X-rays did not reveal any fracture.

“I didn’t really have a whole lot of time to react,” Meek said following the Pirates’ 8-4 loss to the Brewers. “[It’s] not broken. That was the big thing. When you get hit, you don’t know what’s going on because your hand is numb. But X-rays came back negative, so we’ll just ice it and hopefully the swelling goes down pretty soon and get back out there.”

While noticeably favoring his right arm and hand, Meek was helped to his feet and aided in walking off the field to the visitors’ clubhouse at Miller Park for X-rays, immediately following the injury.

Meek was the third Pirates pitcher to be hit significantly by a batted ball this season, joining Chris Jakubauskas and Ross Ohlendorf, both of whom were struck in the head. Ohlendorf, who was hit on July 29 against the Rockies, did not miss any time due to injury.

Jakubauskas, on the other hand, suffered a concussion and ended up on the disabled list. Only recently, on Aug. 18, did the Pirates activate Jakubauskas from the DL and outright him to Triple-A Indianapolis.

As the line drive came off the bat of Ryan Braun, Meek pulled his arms in toward his chest before being struck near his right wrist. It was another scary moment for the Pirates and Meek, who at first glance, appeared to have been hit in the chest.

Instead, the ball struck his hand near the pinky, leaving nothing more than a contusion and plenty of swelling. So does Meek consider himself lucky?

“Yeah I do feel lucky,” he said. “I’m glad it wasn’t at my face. I’m still kind of thinking back at what happened, but we had some instances earlier in the year with guys getting hit and it’s not fun. I’m just glad that my hand’s not broken.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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