For those who have never experienced the pain of getting hit in the male genitalia, let's just say, "good for you." Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price got hit there Tuesday night on a line drive by Joe Mauer but says, somewhat incredulously, that he didn't feel a thing.
Price was wearing a protective cup (which not all major leaguers do, but most infielders do) and it protected him from unspeakable pain and perhaps worse in the top of the fourth inning.
Mauer turned around a 77 mph breaking pitch, hitting it squarely right back at Price, who could not get his glove in position in time to protect his groin. Price reflexively dropped to his knees after getting hit, but only for an instant, and he was back on his feet walking after the ball, which had deflected and come to a stop near the midpoint between third base and the mound. Price's gait suggested someone who had been stunned, but not necessarily injured. Mauer was aboard with a single and the Rays athletic training staff came out to check on Price.
Amazingly, and thankfully, he shook it off. Via the Tampa Bay Times:
"I guess it's the best place to hit me," Price said. "I don't know how I didn't really feel it or it didn't break my cup. I'm extremely lucky. If that ball is 2 feet up it's in my face or in my throat. It's not good. So it's probably one of the last places I wanted to get hit, but I was very fortunate for it to not hurt."
Astro will be relieved. Getting hit there didn't seem to affect how Price pitched. Price's team led 4-1 at the time of the Mauer liner, and he tossed a complete game, finishing with 12 strikeouts and one walk in a 7-3 victory for the Rays.
Joe Mauer even joked about it, dryly, as other Minnesotans might:
"I'm glad he's okay," Mauer said. "But he could have taken the rest of the night off if he needed."
Well played, Mauer. Pretty well played, anyway. (Actually, he can be funnier. Maybe next time. Not that he has to hit a line drive off Chris Sale's groin to find out.)
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