SAN DIEGO (AP)—It’s hard to imagine things getting worse for the hapless San Diego Padres.
One day after reigning NL Cy Young winner Jake Peavy was placed on the disabled list, pitcher Chris Young and catcher Josh Bard sustained injuries that knocked them out of Wednesday night’s 11-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Young and Bard were injured within a span of two batters in the third inning. Young had his nose broken and cut when Albert Pujols lined a shot off his face in the third inning that sent blood streaming down the front of his jersey. Bard sprained his left ankle on a play at the plate when Pujols slid into his leg.
“When I hit it, I thought it was going over his head,” Pujols said. “But it hit him right in the face. “There was blood all over the place and I began to pray about it and make sure it was all right.”
The Padres (17-31) are in last place in the NL West, have lost 12 of 17 games and have the worse record in the majors. But the last 48 hours have been especially tough.
First, general manager Kevin Towers called his club “bad” on Monday night after losing 8-2 to the Cardinals. Towers threatened wholesale changes.
Peavy was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a strained and swollen right elbow.
And now the Padres have lost Young, who had been the team’s best pitcher, and Bard, their starting catcher.
“It’s tough to lose two clubhouse leaders,” said Adrian Gonzalez, who drove in all three Padres’ runs. “We got beat up (in the score) and we got beat up.”
Padres manager Bud Black said that Bard will be placed on the disabled list. Black said that Young will be re-evaluated to determine his immediate future.
But it was the scary sight of Young taking the line drive off Pujols’ bat that was on the mind of many of the Cardinals.
“If he weren’t so tall, the ball would have gone into center field,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said about the 6-foot-10 Young. “It was one of those freak things.”
The ball hit by Pujols immediately knocked Young onto his backside as he put his right hand up to his face. Blood was running down his face.
“That’s a scary one,” Black said. “You see the amount of blood that came out of Chris’ nose immediately. But he was conscious, he was talking and he had his senses about him. But it’s still scary at the same time. It was a little frightening.”
After a few minutes of sitting on the grass, Young walked off holding a bandage on his face with blood on the front of his jersey.
“It was a pretty tough night,” Pujols said. “After that, I couldn’t concentrate on my other at-bats. I kind of had flashbacks thinking about that at-bat.”
Pujols’ shot ricocheted to the left side of the infield for a single and loaded the bases with one out. After Cla Meredith replaced Young, Ludwick’s grounder knocked in one run and advanced the runners. Glaus then lined a single to right to score Miles to put St. Louis up 3-2.
Brian Giles’ throw arrived at the plate at the same time as Pujols, who slid and caught Bard’s left leg. Bard went down and stayed on the ground for a few minutes before he was helped off the field, dragging his leg.
“It’s a pretty tough night to take,” Giles said. “It’s frustrating to lose two guys like that who are so important to our team.”
Ludwick had a two-run single in the fourth when St. Louis scored three times to make it 6-2.
Gonzalez hit a two-run homer off Braden Looper (6-3) in the first inning and added a run-scoring single in the fifth.
Aaron Miles had three hits and scored two runs for St. Louis.
Looper allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two.
Young (4-4) allowed three runs and four hits in 2 1-3 innings.
Ankiel’s home run was his first as a pinch hitter. … San Diego hitting coach Wally Joyner was ejected by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds in the sixth inning for arguing a strike call to Jody Gerut. … Young had won three of his previous four starts.