YOKOHAMA – Hiroshima Carp catcher Tsubasa Aizawa suffered a broken bone after being struck in the face by a pitch during Thursday’s game against the Yokohama BayStars at Yokohama Stadium.
Aizawa, who was pinch-hitting with one out in the ninth and the Carp trailing by four runs, was hit under the left eye by a 148-kph, 3-2 fastball from right-hander Shun Yamaguchi and taken from the field in an ambulance. The injury was diagnosed as a fractured nasal bone. Aizawa was released and is expected to undergo another examination on Friday in Hiroshima.
Carp chief fielding coach Shinji Ko said, “It’s a concern because of the location of the injury. There was an amazing amount of blood, but he was talking.”
The 24-year-old Aizawa had been called up on July 27 when No. 1 catcher Yoshiyuki Ishihara was deactivated due to pain in his right hamstring.
Yamaguchi, who has 13 saves this season for the last-place BayStars, earned an automatic ejection for throwing a dangerous pitch. The game was delayed for 12 minutes while Aizawa was being tended to.
“I’m worried about Aizawa,” Carp manager Kenjiro Nomura said. “It even broke his helmet.”