Franklin Gutierrez was walking gingerly, and he still appeared a bit dazed, but the consensus in the clubhouse after the game was that Gutierrez was very, very lucky he wasn’t hurt more seriously.
In fact, Don Wakamatsu said that Gutierrez “probably” wouldn’t play tomorrow, but that he hoped to get him back in the lineup on Thursday.
That might be overly optimistic, considering that not only did Gutierrez have a bruised knee and elbow, but also bruised ribs, all on the left side, from crashing into the wall. Wakamatsu later called it “wishful thinking.” But considering that trainer Rick Griffin initially thought Gutierrez might have broken a collarbone or separated his shoulder, and Wakamatsu thought he might have broken his wrist, the news has to be considered good for Gutierrez and the Mariners.
“I feel okay. I feel good,” Gutierrez said afterward. “I just went to get the the ball when I hit the wall, and I hit the ground. That;s all I remember. I’m fine.”
He added, “In that moment, just my elbow and knee felt sore. I’m fine now. I don’t think anything is broken.”
Asked when he felt he could play again, he said, “I don’t know. I just have to see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow.”
On the impact, he said, “I hit so hard, it felt like I hit rock.”
Gutierrez said he knew he was going to hit the ball.
“I knew it. I had to take a chance to get that fly ball. When you are in the moment, you only think of catching the ball, and that’s it.”
Here’s what trainer Rick Griffin said: “He has a bruised elbow, some bruised ribs, his left knee is also bruised. It’s all on the left side. Other than that, he’s very lucky, very fortunate. It could have been worse. We thought it might be a broken collarbone or even a dislocated shoulder. He’s very lucky.”
More later, but I need to write my story for the newspaper.