Matt Manning’s season ended after he suffered a broken foot

NEW YORK – As Matt Manning stumbled into the visitors’ clubhouse at Yankee Stadium on crutches, the reality of his situation was already beginning to set in.

In the first inning of his second straight start against the Bronx Bombers, Manning was hit in the same foot, just slightly higher, by Yankees starter Giancarlo Stanton, who launched his 400th career home run on Tuesday. Stanton’s rocket was launched at an exit velocity of 119.5 mph, according to Statcast, and made direct contact with Manning’s foot and then his butt before the pitcher caught him and threw him to first base for an out.

After allowing his first two batters to reach base, that one-liner — after a groundout from Yankees valuable call-up Jason Dominguez and a triple by Gleyber Torres — allowed Manning to escape a two-out jam. But as he raised his hands and bent down to follow the play, as head coach AJ Hinch and the Tigers’ medical staff came out to check on him, it was clear Manning’s night was over.

“Yes, when it happened, I was upset because it was the same foot. Basically in the same place,” Manning said. “And I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if it’s broken;’” Manning said. I hope that’s not the case. I made the play, though, so that’s great.

Manning walked off the field under his own power, but X-rays revealed it was actually another fracture. And so the 2023 season ended.

Stanton’s home run had the second-hardest exit velocity off any ball batted in the majors this season, behind only Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 121.2 mph home run for the Braves on Saturday. Naturally, this player only touched the nets behind the center field wall at Dodger Stadium.

Manning was replaced by reliever Beau Brieske to start the second half, turning the contest into another bullpen game for the Tigers a day after taking that approach in the series opener. Detroit used six other pitchers to get through Wednesday, with Briskey taking the loss after allowing three runs on four hits and three walks in 1 2/3 frames.

“You can probably count on one hand the number of pitchers who have hurt their feet on line drives this season; he’s had it twice. That’s very unfortunate,” Hinch said. 119 [mph] Removing any part of your body could potentially put you on the injured list. … There’s not much you can do once you make the handoff and the guy smokes the ball out of you. All you can do is hope the x-rays come back negative. This did not happen.

It’s another blow in a young career filled with such issues for Manning, who has not completed a full season since making his debut in the Majors in June 2021. Last year, he suffered a sore right shoulder and a right forearm strain.

Manning has played in just 15 games this season, 13 of them since returning from his first break on June 27. However, he has been playing well whenever his number is called, especially recently. He has allowed just one earned run (0.38 ERA) over his past four starts and has compiled 17 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings — the fifth-longest active streak in the major leagues — entering Wednesday’s contest. He tossed six scoreless innings in the Tigers’ 4-3 win over the Yankees in Thursday’s final game of a four-game set in Detroit.

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That’s what he chose to stick with in the wake of another freak injury.

“I really think the most important thing right now is just staying on the field,” Manning said. “When I pitch and pitch, I’ve pitched pretty well the last few years. So it’s just a matter of getting a little more luck on my side and staying on the field for a full season.”

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