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Hit by Ball in the Face, Pitcher to Need Surgery

Chris Bassitt fell to the ground but remained conscious
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2021 4:01 PM CDT
Hit by Ball in the Face, Pitcher to Need Surgery
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Chris Bassitt delivers during the first inning of a game Tuesday night in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Oakland A's pitcher Chris Bassitt will need surgery to repair a cheek fracture after being struck in the face by a line drive Tuesday night. In the second inning in Chicago, Brian Goodwin of the White Sox hit a pitch from Bassitt right back up the middle, measured at 100.1mph when it left the bat, CNN reports. The ball hit Bassitt with full force on the right side of his face. He fell to the ground, doubled over, and stayed there for several minutes until trainers helped him into a cart and drove him off the field. Bassitt held a towel to his face all the while, while his teammates looked on, rapt, some holding their hands over their mouths. He didn't lose consciousness, his manager later said. MLB posted a video here.

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Taken to a Chicago hospital, the All-Star was found to have a displaced tripod fracture, per ESPN. He received two stitches for facial cuts before being released. No other injuries were found, and his team said his vision is fine. The surgery will take place once the swelling has gone down, per CBS. Goodwin and other players tweeted their support to Bassitt after the game. Chicago manager Tony La Russa said he'd seen similar plays but wasn't sure of any quite like this one. "This was so defenseless," he said, per MLB.com. The White Sox won the game 9-0, but "there was a dark cloud around that game the whole time," La Russa said. (A batter hit in the face by a pitch this season had similar injuries.)

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