Shoemaker has small skull fracture, hematoma

Angels pitcher, hit in head by line drive, resting comfortably after surgery

Shoemaker has small skull fracture, hematoma

SEATTLE -- The concerns of real life took over the competitive joy of a baseball game on Sunday afternoon, and every hit, run and strikeout tallied by the Angels in a 4-2 victory over the Mariners became secondary to the health of Matt Shoemaker, the starting pitcher, teammate and friend.

Shoemaker left Sunday's game in the second inning after being hit square on the right side of the head by a 105-mph line drive, suffering a small skull fracture and small hematoma that will end his season. The right-hander had surgery Sunday night to stop the bleeding and was recovering well, Angels general manager Billy Eppler said, according to a report by The Orange County Register. Shoemaker was resting comfortably, the Angels said.

The horrifying scene played out in the second inning as Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager lined the ball, Shoemaker took the impact and dropped to his knees while the Angels' medical personnel rushed to assist him, and several minutes elapsed before Shoemaker walked off the field with the help of two team trainers.

On the positive side of things in an extremely scary scenario, Shoemaker never lost consciousness, and, according to the Angels after the game, was "speaking, interacting and doing well considering the trauma."

Naturally, the event caused shock and distress that altered the remainder of the game, not just for Shoemaker's team. Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who ran to the mound with the team's trainers right after Shoemaker was hit, didn't know what to expect.

"He was conscious the whole time," Scioscia said. "Those guys did a great job just to assess and evaluate him. There was blood coming out of his nose. There were some things that they had to address. And that's the scary part. Hopefully we can understand exactly what's going on with him through the night. … Hopefully we'll just keeping getting good news about his recovery."

With Shoemaker out, the focus of the game for Scioscia and his coaching staff, other than having to get 7 2/3 innings out of his bullpen on the shortest of notice, was making sure the team was kept abreast of Shoemaker's situation. Throughout the game, players filtered into the locker room to offer Shoemaker support and let the medical staff attend to him. Scioscia said updates were given to the players in the dugout as soon as they had them.

"The fact that Matty was conscious and all his reactions were what they were supposed to be in the assessment, I think we could exhale a little bit," Scioscia said. "Just to get him up and walking off the field let you feel a little bit better about what could have happened. And it's tough. It's tough."

It was tough for Seager, too. He threw an arm up in the air while skipping to first base, visibly frightened and sickened by what had transpired.

"It's kind of like, [to heck with] baseball, who cares about the game?" Seager said. "You're just worried about him. You see him sitting there on the ground and all the trainers and doctors up there. You really don't care too much about a stupid game at that point."

In baseball, however, the game does go on. The Angels' bullpen did its job and held the Mariners to two runs as the Angels were able to win the game and the series, two games to one.

"The bullpen came in and did a great job," Angels catcher Jett Bandy said. "They came out early and they got ahead of everyone and put guys away when they needed to. They did a great job for us."

But that point was only made after Bandy said he was wishing the best for Shoemaker. To a man, that was the only thing that mattered to the Angels as they prepared to head to Oakland.

"That was a tough situation," Scioscia said. "Something like that, it affects everybody, and these guys all went out there and took the ball and did a great job to help us win a game, but I know your thoughts are elsewhere at that point until you get an understanding of exactly what's happening with Matty."

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.