Wednesday night’s game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Kansas City Royals was called early after Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman was forced to leave due to injury.
In the sixth inning, Royals catcher Salvador Perez lined a 99-mph fastball up the middle, which hit Chapman square in the face. Reds and Royals players and trainers immediately rushed to the mound, where Chapman was writhing in pain. Chapman’s father, who was in the stands, raced on to the field as well to see his son after the shocking incident.
Chapman was carted off the field and immediately taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City, AZ, where he was kept for overnight observation.
As Chapman was being tended to, the umpires met with Price and Royals manager Ned Yost and decided to stop the game.
“You can’t find it in your heart to go out there and play,” Price said afterward, “Baseball’s a game to be played with a lot of joy in your heart and determination and focus, and I don’t think anyone was able to do that at that moment.”
Yost echoed his colleague, saying, “It’s just a real sickening feeling for everybody.”
Salvador Perez, who hit the line drive, expressed his concern as well after the game. “It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever been a part of…the way it was explained to me, as hard as he throws and as hard as that ball was hit off the bat, I hope for the best.”
Few details were available as to Chapman’s condition immediately after the game was cancelled, but Price said that Chapman never lost consciousness.