NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Eric Young Jr.’s hustle turned into a gruesome injury Wednesday night in Queens for Atlanta Braves starter Tim Hudson.
Hudson took a shutout into the eighth inning before the New York Mets outfielder inadvertently stepped on the back of the pitcher’s lower right leg while trying to beat out a grounder. The 38-year-old right-hander with 205 career wins was carted off the field in obvious pain. He was diagnosed with a broken ankle after undergoing X-rays at Citi Field.
Young was still shaken up by the play after New York’s 8-2 loss.
“I saw his foot as I’m going for the base right there in the middle, and as I came down, I knew I didn’t get any of the base. I knew I got all of his foot,” a somber Young said. “I pretty much knew it was broke right when I did it. That’s why I ran back to him and tried to console him as much as I could and to apologize.”
Hudson will have surgery in Atlanta once the swelling goes down, leaving the NL East leaders without a veteran winner who was on a roll. It’s unclear how long Hudson will be sidelined or whether he’ll be able to pitch again this season.
“I apologized to him, told him it was an accident. I obviously wasn’t trying to hurt him on the play,” Young said. “He just told me to keep my head up and keep playing the game the hard way, the right way. He said there was nothing I can do about it. That made me feel somewhat better, but still bummed that he’s going to be out for a while.”
Hudson (8-7) was working on a four-hitter when Young hit a grounder that was knocked down by first baseman Freddie Freeman. The pitcher took Freeman’s toss at the bag just before Young arrived, and the speedy outfielder accidentally drove the pitcher’s right ankle awkwardly into the ground.
“You never want to injure anybody,” Young said. “You always want to put your best foot forward. It’s just one of those things that happens and I just hope he has a speedy recovery, getting back out there doing what he does.”
Hudson immediately went down, and Young rushed over to check on him. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and a trainer also ran out to aid Hudson, who took off his cap and held his shaved head in his hands.
The crowd at Citi Field groaned when the replay was shown on the big video board. Gonzalez said he hadn’t seen it — and wasn’t sure he wanted to.
“It didn’t look good,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
EMS workers finally strapped Hudson to a backboard and drove him off the field on a cart as fans applauded.
A visibly upset Young remained nearby throughout the entire delay, which lasted almost 10 minutes, and shook Hudson’s hand before he was carted away.
Hudson, who has overcome Tommy John surgery and back surgery within the past five years, nodded back and told Young it wasn’t his fault.
Young thanks his followers “for the kind words” Thursday morning on Twitter.
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