Story avoids serious injury in Rockies' loss

After exiting following scary collision, SS says it's 'just a knee bruise'

May 16th, 2019

BOSTON -- A game that had been filled with the suspense of a comeback attempt leading into the bottom of the ninth inning of the Rockies' eventual 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Red Sox, was halted suddenly by a moment of concern.

With two outs and the game tied at 5, Rockies shortstop and left fielder converged on a fly ball to left field by Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts. Instead of a clean catch, the two collided near the foul line, and both players remained down after the impact. The ball went into the stands for a ground-rule double.

Story tried to stay in the game initially, but he and the team staff decided he should exit to prevent any further injury to his left leg. He was replaced by Pat Valaika.

While the collision was a hold-your-breath situation, Story said he only has a bruise in his knee. No stranger to the issue, he cited his years of banging knees playing basketball growing up, and he expects to play in the Rockies’ next game on Friday in Philadelphia.

“Just a knee bruise,” Story said. “I wanted to be smart and try not to put it at any more risk.”

Tapia, who banged his left leg but remained in the game, also plans to suit up in the Phillies series opener.

“My leg is good,” Tapia said. “A little pain, everything is OK.”

The left-field area of Fenway Park can be challenging to navigate, especially with extra innings looming and the game on the line. Story and Tapia noted that the noise from the crowd affected their communication calling for the ball.

“I think right off the bat, I felt like it was an in-betweener, like it was,” Story said. “It was going to be a tough play for all three guys [including third baseman Nolan Arenado], and all three guys had a chance at it. We kind of felt that, and no one really took charge of it. I probably should have been more vocal and really taken charge. But just one of those weird plays right in the middle of everybody, and things like that happen.”

Manager Bud Black, who was unable to see the collision when it happened live from the dugout, said the team is “cautiously optimistic” about Story. The shortstop had a pair of hits and RBIs on Wednesday -- including a two-run single to ignite the three-run, game-tying seventh inning -- and he is batting .276 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs this season.

“It would hurt the club [if Story missed time] because he’s an All-Star player,” Black said. “He’s a premium defender. He’s an All-Star bat. It would definitely hurt. We don’t know. We’re crossing our fingers that he’s going to be OK.”

If Story’s injury turns out to be more serious, it could create an opportunity for the Rockies’ No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Brendan Rodgers. He is batting .356 with 48 hits, nine home runs, 21 RBIs and 34 runs in 35 games in Triple-A, but Black didn't appear ready to comment on that yet.

“Brendan is a nice player,” Black said. “He’s having a fine season so far. I’m excited about that organizationally for us, but Brendan’s doing a nice job.”

The Rockies have an off-day for players to recuperate before they begin a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. They leave Boston with a split of the two-game Interleague series after a pair of extra-innings battles.