Padres suffer injuries, loss to Cards
Young leaves with broken nose; Bard out with ankle sprain
SAN DIEGO -- As a fellow pitcher and as a teammate, Joe Thatcher had but one thought flash through his mind on Wednesday when he saw Chris Young hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Albert Pujols.
"Your first reaction is that you want him to get up as soon as possible. When guys get hit in the head, it's dangerous territory," Thatcher said. "It riles you a little bit."
Thatcher and his Padres teammates were certainly shaken after seeing Young take a line drive off the bridge of his nose in the third inning on a ball straight back through the box by Pujols, a ball that fell for a single in the Cardinals' eventual 11-3 victory.
Young suffered a nasal fracture and a lacerated nose and was taken away to Scripps Green Hospital in nearby Torrey Pines. It's not clear how much, if any, time that he will miss. Manager Bud Black said more would be known Thursday.
"No matter what team, how big the rivalry, anger, whatever, you don't want to see anybody get hurt," Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus said. "It sounds cliched, but it's all a family. There's not a whole lot of people who do what we do, and you don't want to see anybody get hurt.
"You're going to scratch and you're going to claw, and you're going to try to take people out and you're going to knock people down, but you don't want to see anybody get hurt."
Everyone who witnessed the incident was left encouraged when they saw the 6-foot-10 Young, after several minutes on the ground while being attended to by the training staff, walk off of the field with minimal assistance.
"That's a scary one," Black said. "You see the amount of blood that came out of Chris' nose. When we were out there, he was conscious and talking, but it's still scary."
Young wasn't the only casualty on Wednesday, as catcher Josh Bard left the game in the same inning after suffering a high ankle sprain on a play at the plate that again involved Pujols.
Bard was writhing in pain on the ground after it appeared that Pujols' left foot caught the left leg of Bard as he slid across the plate. Black said after the game that Bard will go on the disabled list.
"How many times does that happen? ... In one inning, two guys get hurt by one player. It was a tough night," Pujols said. "I'm excited we got the win, but I'm kind of bummed. Hopefully they don't lose Josh for a long time. Chris, he's one of the best pitchers, it's kind of bumming right now. They lose two guys. You don't want any player to be getting hurt on the field."
The Padres likely will recall a catcher from the Minor Leagues on Thursday, though they might not have to look far to do so.
Catcher Michael Barrett, on the disabled list since April 8 with a sprained elbow, flew to San Diego late Wednesday to join the team for a workout before heading out Friday to a Minor League rehabilitation assignment at Class A Lake Elsinore.
If Barrett is deemed healthy enough -- he appeared in three games with Triple-A Portland, the last on Wednesday -- and the reports on his elbow from Portland's training staff are good, he could be activated.
Either way, this was the last thing the Padres (17-31) needed, especially after defending Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday after he strained muscles in his right elbow.
"It's tough to lose two of our leaders in the same game ... the same inning," said Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who had a two-run home run in the first inning.
Gonzalez's home run staked Young (4-4) to a 2-0 lead, but the right-hander allowed two hits with one out in the third inning, when Pujols -- who hit two home runs on Monday -- came to the plate. Young got ahead 0-2 before Pujols fouled off a pitch. Pujols then jumped on a slider that hung out over the plate.
"It came off the bat pretty hot," said Black, who as the pitching coach in 2006 for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watched from the dugout as Vladimir Guerrero lined a ball off the head of Seattle reliever Rafael Soriano.
As Young was being attended to at the base of the mound by the training staff, Pujols, who was visibly shaken, was consoled near the mound by Gonzalez.
"It could have been worse. It could have been right in the eye or somewhere else," Pujols said. "Hopefully, he's OK. I'm definitely going to have him in my prayers. After that I couldn't concentrate on all my other at-bats. I just kind of flashed back thinking about a lot of that. It's something that you don't want to happen to anybody.
"But just like the umpires and everybody says, all you can do is hit the ball. You can't control where it goes. I wish it would have gone somewhere else ... a ground-ball double play rather than hitting somebody in the face."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.