Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was forced to leave the game against the New York Mets after being hit in the jaw with a fastball from starter Jonathon Niese this afternoon.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, Heyward fractured his right jaw and could be out for the rest of the regular season:
Heyward fractured his right jaw when he was hit by the pitch this afternoon. Likely out 4-6 weeks. #Braves
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 21, 2013
This is a big blow for the Braves as they currently hold the best record in the National League, but the Pirates and Dodgers are not far behind in the standings.
The Dodgers come into play today just 3.5 games behind them in the standings while the Pirates are a game ahead and just 2.5 games behind the Braves.
Heyward was hitting leadoff for the Braves and had an on-base percentage of .425 as they’re one of the hottest teams in baseball. Along with Heyward, Justin Upton has been battling a bat back, which thins out the Braves offense.
With Heyward potentially missing the rest of the regular season, it will provide an opportunity for the Dodgers to try and climb up the standings and hopefully gain home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs.
Here’s a GIF of the play: