Nelson sympathizes with Taillon after scare

Nelson sympathizes with Taillon after scare

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, who knows precisely what it feels like to be hit in the head by a screaming line drive, said he was fine with the Pirates' decision Tuesday to stick with Jameson Taillon after a similar scare.

Taillon was hit in the back of the head by a 105 mph line drive in the second inning and remained in the game to pitch six strong frames. Last September, Nelson was struck on the right side of his head by a 108 mph line drive and was removed from the game immediately.

Nelson leaves early after injury

Nelson and Taillon are close friends. They are offseason workout partners who live across the street from each other in suburban Houston.

"I know when [medical officials] came out there in my situation, I felt fine," Nelson said. "I passed all the tests, and even after they pulled me and we did more tests inside, I passed everything with flying colors. It's just a scary situation, whether you know the guy or not, but to see he didn't lose consciousness was a good thing.

"I know when I got hit in the head, I wanted to stay in the game, and I can't blame him for wanting to stay in the game, too. That's just your competitive nature."

Nelson said he underwent further tests that revealed a small amount of subdural bleeding, but he never showed any concussion symptoms. The Brewers, who were out of the race at the time, decided to shut him down for the remainder of the season.

But the Taillon situation is different, Nelson said.

"Mine was in a completely different spot," Nelson said. "I'm not a doctor or anything, but here [in the temple] is a lot scarier than here [on the back of the head]. … You also don't know the dialogue between him and the doctors out there."

Two team physicians tended to Taillon after Hernan Perez's liner caromed off Taillon's head and into left field for a single. The 24-year-old right-hander quickly was back on his feet, and passed an on-field concussion test before he was allowed to continue pitching.

Taillon will remain under Major League Baseball's concussion protocol for another day, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday. Tomczyk checked on Taillon every half-inning for the rest of his start, and the player never showed any ill effects from his scare.

He did not require X-rays, the Pirates said.

"I actually remembered stuff better after getting hit. I still remember the five words they gave me right after [as part of the concussion test,"] said Nelson, who ticked them off: elbow, apple, shoulder, wagon, skillet.

"I guess it's just a judgment call," Nelson said. "None of us were out there for that conversation to see what his reactions were."

Nelson said he exchanged texts with Taillon on Wednesday while Taillon happened to be icing his head, and he reported feeling fine.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.