The Major League Baseball season has officially started and here are some of the best images from a memorable first day.
USA TODAY Sports
ST. LOUIS — Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty was hit not just once, twice, but three times in one inning Tuesday night, against the Chicago Cubs, all hitting various body parts, with the final one the blow that knocked him out of the game.
Piscotty, who was hit in both elbows and the head on three different plays, was diagnosed with a head contusion. He is scheduled to undergo another round of concussion tests Wednesday.
“It was probably the roughest turn around the bases I’ve ever seen,’’ Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said. “I’m just glad he’s Ok.’’
It all began when Cubs starter Jake Arrieta hit Piscotty in the right elbow and he went to first base. He went to second on a wild pitch, with Cubs catcher Willson Contreras nailing his left elbow. And when second baseman Javier Baez couldn’t handle a grounder by Kolten Wong, Piscotty took off for home. Baez’s throw hit Piscotty in the ear flap, leaving him crumpled at home plate for nearly a minute.
The Cardinals trainers helped him to his feet and took him to the clubhouse where he was diagnosed with a contusion. He will be re-diagnosed in the morning, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, but no hospital stay was required.
“The trainers asked him a lot of questions,’’ Matheny said. “He answered all of them fine. Just rung his bell. He was coherent.
“We won’t jump into any conclusions, but he seems fine.’’
Says Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter: “Anytime you see something like that happen, it’s scary. We found out that he’s going to be ok, making us all feel better.’’
Piscotty, who signed a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension Monday, went through a much more frightening situation on Sept. 28, 2015 when he and teammates Peter Bourjos had a violent collision in the outfield. Piscotty was carted off the field with a neck brace, but there miraculously were no severe injuries.
“That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen,’’ Wainwright said. “I thought he was dead. I think everybody did. He’s had some rough plays in the field.’’
Gallery: Best of Opening Day
USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale breaks down the story lines to watch as baseball’s regular season begins.
USA TODAY Sports