Holman Survives `Worst Nightmare' -- Injured Mariner Says He Won't Stop Pitching

WICHITA, Kan. - Yes, Brad Holman agreed, his accident was just as frightening to him as it was to everyone who saw it.

"I've probably thrown 50,000 or 60,000 pitches, and I don't know how many balls have been hit off me. But I've never been hit in the head," the Seattle Mariners rookie reliever said yesterday. "It's probably a pitcher's worst nightmare."

Sunday night, Holman was struck squarely in the forehead by a line drive hit by former Mariner Mario Diaz of the Texas Rangers. The ball hit Holman so hard that it caromed into the first-base dugout.

Holman, 25, suffered a bruised front sinus cavity. He was released from Arlington Memorial Hospital Tuesday and made the seven-hour drive from Texas to his home in Wichita on Wednesday with his wife, Stephanie. Holman was advised by doctors not to fly or work out for 10 days after the accident.

"Although it's scary, it's not going to stop me from pitching," Holman said. "If you're a carpenter and bust your finger, you've got to go to work the next day and hammer the nail."

Holman is on the 15-day disabled list. He hopes to rejoin the Mariners next weekend in Toronto, and wants to pitch soon thereafter.

Holman is 0-0 with two saves and a 1.29 earned-run average in eight games for Seattle this season. He had been recalled from the minors hours before the game in which he was hurt.

Holman's brother, Brian, also is a pitcher for the Mariners, although he has not pitched in the majors since 1991 because of shoulder trouble.