CarGo on line drive that hit Bradley: 'It was a nightmare'
PHOENIX -- It was less than an hour after the game on Tuesday night when Rockies center fielder Carlos Gonzalez strode to his locker to talk to the media. He was still shaken. At that point, he had no idea that Archie Bradley was in good spirits around the corridor in the D-backs clubhouse.
It was Gonzalez's line drive during the second inning - clocked at 115 mph - that struck the rookie right-hander on the right cheek and knocked him straight to the ground, where he laid prone for seemingly endless minutes on the lip of the Chase Field mound.
"For me, as a hitter, it was a nightmare," said Gonzalez, with the 12-5 loss in the books and of little consequence. "It's something you don't try to do, especially to a guy like him, who is really young and is starting his career. It's devastating. It just ruined my night. It just ruined everybody's night.
"It's sad, but at the same time there's nothing you can do about it. You're just trying to hit the ball. It just really [stinks] when you see a guy go down like that."
The incident brought back the ghosts of other pitchers struck in the same way -- Chris Carpenter when he was with the Blue Jays, Chris Young with the Padres, Brandon McCarthy with the A's, Aroldis Chapman with the Reds during Spring Training. And Hiroki Kuroda right here on this same mound when he pitched for the Dodgers.
All suffered various degrees of injury, stunning the crowd and collective players. Once again on Tuesday night, the sounds of a ballpark diminished to a hush as Bradley was administered by the D-backs' medical staff in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Bradley walked off the field on his own and never lost consciousness. His prize was a bruised and swollen right cheek.
"That's as bad as I've ever seen a guy getting hit on the field. It was terrible," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It was certainly a dark moment there, and I hope Archie's OK. He got hit bad. It looked bad. You're just hoping and praying for the best right there. It was tough. It looked like he wasn't moving at first. And then I saw some movement in his legs."
The news that Bradley, making only his fourth big league start, seemed to be OK, albeit bound for the disabled list, brightened the dismal mood. Gonzalez, for his part, said he would reach out to Bradley as soon as he could to extend sympathies and apologies.
"Of course I will see him," Gonzalez said. "He's a very talented pitcher. If he can stay healthy, he's a guy I believe can be a superstar and in the big leagues for a long time. I will feel really happy when I see him pitch again. You don't want to end anybody's career. You just want to play really clean baseball for the fans. It was just scary for all of us to see that."