Padres left fielder Tommy Pham and shortstop Ha-Seong Kim were involved in a scary collision in the bottom of the fourth inning of San Diego's 6-1 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday afternoon -- a collision that prompted an early exit for both and caused Pham to get heated in the visiting dugout at Wrigley Field.
With one out and the bases loaded, Chicago catcher P.J. Higgins lofted a ball into shallow left field, where Pham and Kim converged. Both appeared to be calling for the baseball, and neither gave way. They collided head-first. Both went down on the outfield grass clutching their heads and stayed there for several moments as they were assisted by team training staff.
“Very scary when you see it -- two guys going full-speed and they collide,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “… We’re fortunate that they both walked off on their own terms. They were definitely banged up.”
Tingler called the play “the perfect storm,” citing the placement of the ball, the language barrier between Kim and Pham and the loud fans at Wrigley Field.
Ultimately, both would walk off the field, Pham under his own power and Kim with the assistance of a team trainer. Pham received stitches after the game and will undergo a CT scan on his jaw when the team returns to San Diego. Kim, meanwhile, appears to have avoided a concussion, according to Tingler, though the team will monitor him closely moving forward. Both are considered day to day.
Pham got heated upon his return to the dugout and needed to be restrained by teammates, though it’s unclear with whom exactly he was verbally sparring. Tingler was dismissive of the incident afterward.
“We’ve got a passionate group, and passion’s a good thing,” Tingler said. “At times things are going to get heated. But passion’s a good thing, competitiveness is a good thing. We’ll move on.”
Both Kim and Pham were removed from the game, with Wil Myers and Jorge Mateo assuming their respective spots in the lineup. Should Pham and Kim miss any time, Mateo and Tucupita Marcano would be the likeliest replacements, though the Padres might need to call up offensive reinforcements. With Fernando Tatis Jr. (right oblique tightness) currently ailing as well, second baseman Jake Cronenworth took over for Kim at shortstop on Wednesday afternoon, and he could continue to do so on a short-term basis.
Remarkably enough, after the collision, Kim managed to pick up the ball and throw it to third baseman Manny Machado before crumpling to the outfield grass. Though Patrick Wisdom had crossed the plate, the other Cubs baserunners -- thinking the ball had been caught -- never advanced. Machado stepped on third base for a forceout and threw to second for another and an inning-ending double play.
“There was a lot going on right there,” said Cubs manager David Ross. “That was pretty nasty. You don't ever want to see guys collide. You've got top-tier athletes going after the baseball full speed, colliding -- super dangerous. It's a scary moment. I hope those guys are all right."