Astros pitcher Mickey Storey hit in face with line drive

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

We knew the Houston Astros-Chicago Cubs series was going to be ugly, but why does it have to include such frightening plays? One night after Chicago rookie Anthony Rizzo was involved in a scary collision at first, Houston pitcher Mickey Storey was hit in the face by a line drive during the Cubs' 5-1 victory on Wednesday night.

[Related: Unflappable rookie Manny Machado fakes out Rays in critical Orioles victory]

The play in question occurred during the top of the eighth inning with Chicago's Dave Sappelt at the plate. The ball appeared to first deflect off something very briefly — Storey's glove? his shoulder? — before smacking him square in the face and doubling him over to his knees. It was a scary moment for the baseball world, especially considering we still have Brandon McCarthy's gruesome injury fresh in our minds.

"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 [via the Houston Chronicle]. "I initially went to get the ball, and then I kind of blacked out and felt a lot of ringing."

Sappelt and Storey knew each other from their Triple-A days, a fact that compounded Sappelt's guilt as he saw his line drive injure the pitcher.

"When I hit it, I didn't think he would be able to get out of the way,'' Seppelt said [via the Associated Press]. ''As soon as he let the ball go, it was coming right at him. I didn't know whether to run to him at the mound or to first. I was in one of those 'I don't know what to do' moments.''

[Also: Newly released 2013 MLB schedule features year-round interleague play]

The good news is that Storey was able to walk off the field, a fact that you might have presumed after reading his postgame comments. The Astros say he'll be re-evaluated on Thursday, but it really makes you wonder why they didn't just take him to the hospital in the name of precautionary measures. McCarthy, after all, also walked off the field on his own and everyone assumed he'd be OK. But his hospital visit turned out to be an important one as it revealed an epidural hemorrhage, a brain contusion and a skull fracture that required surgery.

Not that we're suggesting the Astros medical staff doesn't know what they're doing. It's just that we're going to be a lot more skittish and cautious about these types of unfortunate plays after seeing what happened to McCarthy.

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