Just a day after signing a 6-year, $33.5 million extension, Stephen Piscotty was earning his money the hard way. The St. Louis Cardinals outfielder was forced out of tonight’s game in the 5th inning after he was struck in the head by the ball as he was sliding home.
Intially, Piscotty lay face down in the dirt as Mike Matheny and trainers raced out from the dugout. After a few moments, Piscotty sat up and then walked off the field. The initial diagnosis was a head contusion.
“Trainers asked him a lot of questions, he answered everything fine,” shared Matheny. “Just rung his bell–which we’ll find out what exactly that means when the doctors give him a better test than us asking him questions on the field. But he was coherent.”
After the game, Piscotty was still at Busch Stadium but through a team spokesperson asked the hold off on questions until tomorrow.
The play at home was actually the third time Piscotty was hit in the inning as he originally reached base when struck by a pitch on the inside of his right elbow. On a wild pitch, he moved to second where the throw hit him on the left elbow. And then moments later the play at home occurred.
“Never seen that before,” said Matheny. “Those are the kind of things we said that we were going to need to see this year with him advancing on the ball when it gets away from the catcher and then going hard all the way off the bat. It’s a shame that happened.”
The situation brought back memories from September of 2015, when Piscotty and centerfielder Peter Bourjos collided full speed going for the ball against Pittsburgh.
“One of the scariest things I’ve ever seen in the outfield,” recalled Adam Wainwright. “I thought he was dead. I think everybody did. He’s had some rough plays in the field but probably the roughest turn around the bases I’ve ever seen. Get hit three times. Just I’m glad he’s okay.”
Wainwright finished the game with a line of 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs/ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, and a wild pitch.
“I had good stuff–I’ve got to hone a little bit better,” assessed Wainwright of his performance. “I got Strike One good tonight, I want to attack a little bit better after Strike One. My stuff is good, I’ve just to go out there and be aggressive with it and let them put the ball in play.”
He also explained the wild pitch–on which he and Yadier Molina appeared to get crossed up.
“That has to be one of the worst pitches of all-time,” began Wainwright. “I saw him shift outside and I was looking at a different part of the plate, so when I saw that instantly–and I’ve seen it before, I thought he was looking for a breaking ball and I had fastball grip. I did not want to throw a ball and hit him in the collar bone or something and have Yadier out. So I pull-hooked it and erred on the side of not hitting him by 20-30 yards.”
Afterwards, Molina told his pitcher to just throw it next time and he would catch it.
“He’s probably one of the only people in the world who could do that, but no reason to risk it,” said Wainwright.
–Matt Adams made his first big league appearance in left field. He successfully caught all three balls hit his direction.
–Brett Cecil made his Cardinals debut as he threw a scoreless 7th inning with just one hit and a strikeout.
–The official attendance was 46,760 which is a sellout.