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Stone Garrett injures leg after crashing into wall

Jan 04, 2024

Bill Ladson

NEW YORK -- It was a difficult night for the Nationals on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. Right fielder Stone Garrett was carted off the field with an apparent left leg injury, and Washington was pounded by three home runs by Aaron Judge in a 9-1 loss to the Yankees.

In the bottom of the seventh inning with the Yankees leading, 6-0, DJ LeMahieu led off with a deep fly ball to right field. As the ball went over the fence, Garrett climbed the wall and appeared to twist his leg. He fell to the ground and stayed there in agony until help arrived.

Nationals director of athletic training Paul Lessard, manager Dave Martinez and some of the Yankees’ training staff aided Garrett before he was carted off the field about 15 minutes later. As Garrett was put in the cart, he was seen crying as Lessard consoled him.

“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt,” Martinez said. “When he went down like that, my heart dropped. He was out there wincing. He was pretty hurt. Hopefully, he is OK. It was his left leg. I don’t know anything yet. We’ll know more when [the results] get back.”

About 10 minutes after the media spoke with Martinez, Garrett was seen in the locker room on crutches. Lessard helped dress Garrett, who didn’t talk to reporters.

The locker room was somber after the game, as if nobody cared about the loss. All they cared about was Garrett’s well-being.

Garrett has been a pleasant surprise for Washington, hitting .269 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs. He started the season as a platoon player and became an everyday outfielder after Corey Dickerson was released on Aug. 2.

“He is one of our clubhouse favorites. I love the kid,” Martinez said. “He has been unbelievable on the field, off the field. He is a special kid. He really is. I hope we get some good news and that he is going to be OK and we’ll put this behind us. He was hurt pretty good.”

Left-hander MacKenzie Gore lost his 10th game of the year after going four innings and allowing six runs -- two earned -- on four hits and one walk. But his performance was not on his mind. Gore has a close relationship with Garrett. In fact, their lockers are next to each other at Nationals Park.

Gore was crying and had a tough time putting his feelings into words about Garrett. When Lane Thomas spoke about Garrett, it was obvious the respect for him went beyond baseball.

“Seeing someone that emotional, whether it’s pain or just the moment, it’s tough to see,” Thomas said about Garrett. “Just knowing how good of a dude he is, how hard he works, it makes [the injury] that much harder to see.”

Lost in all of the concern for Garrett was that the Nationals didn’t play clean baseball, especially in the second inning. Gore threw 40 pitches that inning because the defense was shoddy.

The Yankees scored five runs that inning, but only two were earned because of an error by Garrett, and the first run scored when catcher Keibert Ruiz couldn't handle a throw from shortstop CJ Abrams on a fielder's choice grounder. Judge highlighted the scoring with a grand slam, his second home run of the game. He hit his third in the seventh.

“The pitch was over the heart of the plate to a good hitter,” Gore said about the Judge slam. “Tough inning. Just a tough day for us.”

The Nationals are anxious to find out the results of tests on Garrett. But there is an afternoon game against the Yankees on Thursday.

“I tell them they have to go out there and play. Let’s hope he is going to be OK,” Martinez said. “The [players] understand in this game you have to get back and go 1-0 tomorrow. I think the players understand that.”