The Houston Astros appear to have survived the scariest moment of a bad season when Mickey Storey was hit in the face with a comebacker and dropped to his knees. The injury brought back visions of Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who suffered a skull fracture when he was hit with a liner last week. Storey was more fortunate in absorbing the ball from Dave Sappelt of the Cubs in the Astros' 5-1 loss. He was hit on the side of the face and got the diagnosis of a bruised jaw plus a bruised hand -- he stuck the hand up instinctively trying to protect himself. "We're very lucky," manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "What happened with McCarthy with Oakland, it's very sensitive right now to the players and the coaching staffs." Storey talked to the press after the game and did so fine. He had a very pronounced red mark on his cheek near the jaw line and also had some swelling in the right (pitching) hand. He had some but not complete memory of the play. "I saw it come back at me and I don't know if I was trying to catch it or trying to defend my face, but I felt it hit," Storey said. "I initially went to get the ball and then I kind of blacked out and felt a lot of ringing." He will be re-evaluated today and said he wants to be back on the mound as soon as possible. DeFrancesco said it would probably be a few days for everything to settle back into place, but the impression all over the clubhouse was that it could have been much worse than it was.
- Houston Astros