HOUSTON -- Astros relief pitcher Mickey Storey was understandably relieved after Wednesday night's 5-1 loss vs. the Cubs after a line drive that struck him on the right side of his face resulted in only a bruise to his jaw and his right hand.
A hush came over the Minute Maid Park crowd when Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt hit a line drive in the eighth inning that struck Storey in the face. The pitch glanced off his hand and appeared to strike his shoulder before hitting him in the face, but he remained on his feet until trainers reached him.
"The best thing I can take from this is that it didn't hit somewhere worse," he said. "Initially, it was a shock and it hurt and stuff, but I think I'll be alright. Hopefully, I can be back there soon."
Considering the serious injury suffered by A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy when he was struck in the head earlier this month, the Astros were relieved as well.
"We were lucky," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "What happened with McCarthy in Oakland, it's very sensitive right now to the players and the coaching staffs. We don't want to see anybody get hurt. I know it's part of the game, but you feel bad for the kid."
Storey didn't know the ball had glanced off his hand until it started to get sore, and he was brave enough to check out the replay of the incident.
"I threw a fastball down and away to a guy that's been swinging the bat pretty good and he put a barrel on it," Storey said. "I saw it come back at me and I don't know if I was going to catch it or was defending my face. I just felt it hit. I initially went to get the ball and then I kind of blacked out and felt a lot ringing."
The Astros purchased Storey's contract from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Aug. 3 after he went 7-4 with two saves and a 3.05 ERA in 35 games for the RedHawks. Since his debut, he entered Wednesday ranked second among National League relievers in strikeouts (25).