Saturday night’s NL East clash between the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals saw one of the scariest moments of the MLB season after Braves utilityman Charlie Culberson was hit in the face with a pitched ball from Nationals reliever Fernando Rodney.
Culberson was squaring up to bunt with runners on first and second base in a game that was tied 1-1 in the seventh inning. Rodney delivered a 91 mile per hour fastball that struck Culberson just below his right eye, causing the veteran player to collapse to the ground and writhe in pain.
After a few scary moments in which the 30-year-old was attended to while collapsed on the dirt, he sat up and was escorted off of the field with team trainers on a medical cart.
On Sunday, the Braves learned that Culberson had suffered “multiple facial fractures” in the play, which will rule him out for the rest of the Braves’ regular season and postseason campaign.
Culberson has been one of the Braves’ most important bench players over the past two seasons. He hit .259 with 5 home runs in 104 appearances for the NL East leaders this season and was a near-certainty to be included on the team’s playoff roster.
Now, the Braves will have to look towards other options for their bench as they keep an eye on the playoffs.