I was sitting in the second row behind the backstop when it happened. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman threw a 99-MPH four seam fastball and Salvador Perez lined it back to the mound. The ball struck Chapman in the head. Some people said it got him in the temple, other said it struck him above the left eye.
When a ball hits a player and continues in approximately the same direction, it was a glancing blow. If the ball drops straight down, it hit the player square. This one hit Chapman so hard it bounced back toward the Royals dugout.
After a long delay they cancelled the game. Ned Yost said the fun had gone right out of it—nobody wanted to continue. The media crowded into Ned’s office afterwards to do his post-game press conference. Questions about the ballgame seemed out of place.
We were told Salvador Perez did not want to talk about it—neither did anybody else. Every ballplayer knows what can happen: pitchers know line drives can be hit back at them, hitters know they can hurt someone badly. When something like this occurs we’re reminded that this is just a game. And Wednesday night it was a game that was no longer fun.