WASHINGTON (CNN) —Atlanta Braves outfielder Charlie Culberson sustained multiple facial fractures after being hit in the face by a 90 mph fastball Saturday night.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said the 30-year-old was “alert” and “aware” after being taken to the hospital.
“I think it was bones around his eye, and the report I got is that when they took him to the hospital, he was aware,” Snitker said after the game. “We just have to wait and see. We just hope and pray for the best.”
Culberson was doing better than expected but will have to miss the remainder of the season, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
In Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals, Culberson came up to bat as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning with two men on and the game tied 1-1.
On the first pitch, Culberson squared up to bunt and Fernando Rodney threw a fastball that nailed Culberson in the right cheek.
He immediately collapsed to the ground, and the umpire waved for help. Trainers eventually helped him to his feet and held a towel to his face to stop the bleeding. He got up and walked to a cart and then gave a thumbs up as the cart drove him off the field.
Oddly, the play was called a strike, as umpires ruled Culberson didn’t pull back his bat. That set off Snitker, who came out to argue and yell at the umpires over the call.
Afterward, the Braves scored four more runs in the seventh inning and won the game 10-1, clinching a postseason berth.