Nasty beaning of Cubs’ Marlon Byrd felt by all
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com May 21, 2011 9:46PM
The Cubs' Marlon Byrd pulls himself up after being hit in the face Saturday by a pitch by Alfredo Aceves in the second inning in Boston. | Michael Dwyer~AP
Updated: June 23, 2011 12:46AM
BOSTON — Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd remained in a Boston-area hospital overnight after being hit in the face by a pitch in the second inning Saturday.
Team personnel said Byrd, who was struck flush in the cheek by the Alfredo Aceves’ pitch, was undergoing several tests, such as CT scans, and being monitored for concussion-related symptoms.
It was not immediately known whether Byrd had suffered any facial fractures. The team expected an update today.
‘‘I can’t get Marlon off my mind,’’ manager Mike Quade said. ‘‘This is not a pitcher’s arm that’s a little sore. This is serious stuff.’’
Considering the frightening, bloody scene that had Boston Red Sox players cringing on the field, Byrd appears fortunate to have escaped more serious damage.
The pitch opened a gash near the cheekbone, sending Byrd to the dirt as he grabbed his face and kicked in pain. He never lost consciousness and walked off the field under his own power.
It was the fifth time in 10 games — and third in the last two nights — that Byrd has been hit by a pitch.
‘‘I don’t want to believe it was intentional,’’ Quade said. ‘‘That doesn’t necessarily make it right.’’
DeWitt in left field
Nine days after making his first major-league outfield appearance, infielder Blake DeWitt got his first start out there, spotting Alfonso Soriano in left for the night.
‘‘It’s just another option,’’ said manager Mike Quade, who’s looking for more ways to get DeWitt and a few other Cubs more playing time. ‘‘I’m anxious to see how good he is. Most guys that play in the infield can go out and do that. I’m not expecting great things, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has instincts and his jumps and stuff were fantastic.’’
Soriano was the designated hitter Saturday.
First baseman Carlos Pena, who spent his teen years in the Boston area and played at Northeastern University, spent the early part of Saturday at his college ballfield participating in a ceremony to retire the uniform number of a college teammate who died of cancer two years ago.
‘‘That was very, very, very cool, emotional and special to me,’’ said Pena, who otherwise has spent most of his downtime this weekend with his parents and siblings.
The Cubs, who wore 1918-era uniforms to commemorate their last series at Fenway Park 93 years ago, are 5-0 on throwback-uniform days all-time after their 9-3 victory.
◆ Pena on the privilege of playing in historic ballparks such as Wrigley Field and Fenway Park: ‘‘Sometimes we don’t realize how special we are to be able to play in places like this. I mean, Babe Ruth played here. I don’t ever want to forget that, wow, I’m actually playing in a place like this.’’
◆ When Carlos Zambrano drilled Kevin Youkilis near the ribs with a pitch in the fifth inning — prompting umpire warnings to both benches — it moved Youkilis past Mo Vaughn as the Red Sox’ all-time leading hit batsman (77).