Milwaukee — Brewers shortstop and two-time MVP Willy Adames was hit on the left side of the head by a foul ball while leaning against the dugout fence during the second inning of Friday’s Giants-Brewers game at American Family Field and went onto the field while struggling stunned teammates through the rest losing 15-1.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Adames was alert and responsive throughout the rest of the evening and was scheduled to remain in the hospital overnight for observation, which indicated Adames had suffered no fractures. Counsell said the Brewers expect Adams to be released from the hospital on Saturday morning and he will be placed on the injured list.
“We all love him,” said Freddy Peralta, Adames’ neighbor at the Brewers’ club and Friday night starting pitcher for the Brewers. “We’ve both known each other for years. We’ve been together, friends together—close friends together—for seven or eight years. It’s hard to see someone you love in that moment.”
“It wasn’t a good night,” said Conseil.
Brian Anderson was leading in the bottom of the second inning for the Brewers when he hit an error pitch, at 90 mph from the bat according to Statcast, that appeared to hit Adames on the left side of the head. Adames retreated down the steps of the dugout to the bench and leaned against Brewers head coach, catch and strategy coach Walker McInven as medical officials tended to him and his Brewers teammates stood to form a wall around the scene.
After several tense minutes, Adames got up and walked through the tunnel into the clubhouse. Anderson finished his attack with tears in his eyes and made a short pause before climbing into the tunnel himself to check on his teammate.
“I heard it and knew it hit somebody,” said Conseil. “I didn’t know who it hit, but I knew it hit someone. Willie didn’t react much at first, to be honest with you. He just went and sat up. Then I realized what happened, and then it was really scary.”
As for Anderson, Counsell said, “You feel terrible. It’s just an accident. It’s a bad accident. It’s bad luck. Unfortunately, it’s one of your teammates. Some bad things happen in the game sometimes. It wasn’t fun being a part of.”
Giants staff writer Alex Wood compared the sound a batter hits with a direct hit to the back, “one of the loudest batters you’ll ever see or hear.” He called it “scary stuff”.
“In real time, I thought he could kind of avoid it or turn his head and put his hand up,” said Giants manager Gabe Kapler. “It was a really scary moment, obviously, for the Brewers and our informants as well. You never want to see a guy in danger like that.”
The game immediately drifted away from the Brewers and Peralta, who committed one of the team’s first errors during what became the Giants’ seven-inning rally. It started on second baseman Owen Miller’s error, continued with Peralta’s throwing error on a returner, and included a run scoring single that deflected first baseman Mike Broseau’s glove before Giants second baseman Brett Weasley hit a home run that made it a 10-1 game and represented The end of Peralta’s night.
Adames and Peralta have lockers next to each other at the Brewers Club, and with injured player Luis Urías, they are best friends. Peralta said he plans to visit Adames in the hospital later Friday night.
Of getting back on the mound in the top of the third inning, Peralta said, “It was really hard for me because of some of the feelings inside of me and all that. I knew I had a game and I should get back on the mound, but I was thinking about it.”
“It definitely affected everyone,” Counsell said. “Certainly Freddie, as a man has to get out there and play, and as close as anyone else they are.”
Last week marked Adames’ two-year anniversary with the Brewers, who acquired him in a May 21, 2021 deal with the Rays when Milwaukee was two games under . 500 and needed a boost. Adames has been the Brewers’ most productive hitter since, winning the club’s MVP award in 21 and 22 and leading the team in home runs, RBIs, hits, doubles, walks, runs and games played — including all 10 games. 51 to date in 2023.
“I’ve always said it: Willie is the catalyst for this team,” said Brosseau, who has been Adames’ teammate for the past five seasons with the Rays and Brewers. “What he brings to this team, what he means to this team, to see him go down like that and nobody knows how serious it is, it’s very scary, very scary.”
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