WASHINGTON – It is usually not a good sign when a second baseman gives himself concussion tests while standing at his position in the middle of a major league game.
Especially when that player, Joe Panik, spent a month last season on the concussion DL.
Panik held out an index finger and tracked his peripheral vision in Game 2 of Sundays’ doubleheader, one inning after he was struck in the side of the helmet by a throw to the plate.
In keeping with the Giants’ misfortunes this season, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters trapped the ball against Panik’s helmet and somehow found a way to tag him out.
But the club might be fortunate in the overall analysis. Panik said he passed the actual concussion protocol after the Giants’ 6-2, 11-inning loss in Game 2 of their doubleheader at Nationals Park, and he expected to be all right.
“All the issues I had last year and nonexistent right now,” Panik said. “You never know what can happen, and we’ll continue to monitor it. But right now, I’m good to go.”
Panik missed a month last season after he was struck by a pitch in the head from then-Rays left-hander and current teammate Matt Moore. Panik hit a home run later in that game at Tropicana Field, and didn’t go on the DL until a week later. But he said he wasn’t being fully honest with trainers as he tried to play through symptoms.
Because he is all too familiar with some of the tests, he began to administer a few to himself during Sunday’s game. Afterward, he passed the actual balance and vision tests.
“I feel like I took a punch, but I’m all right,” he said.
Panik was trying to score from second base on Hunter Pence’s single when the throw from Nationals center fielder Michael A. Taylor was up the line. Replays appeared to show that it hit Panik’s helmet first.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you,” he said. “I’m sliding in and all of the sudden, I’ feeling a force to my head and I’m on the ground.”
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