Kyle Farmerone of the most indispensable players on the Cincinnati Reds roster has left Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Atlanta after being hit by a 100 mph fastball to his left in the fifth inning.
Farmer was clearly in pain after being hit on the fourth pitch of his second at bat against Atlanta-rookie Spencer Strider, who had yet to give up a basehit. He’s broken the bone on the underside of his wrist before, and that was his first thought as he lay on the floor.
Fortunately, Farmer avoided the worst-case scenario. X-rays were negative for a fracture.
“I’ve broken it many times and I know that feeling,” Farmer said. “I thought it was broken. I was pretty pissed, but thank goodness it’s not broken.”
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Farmer screamed in pain as he stood up. As he walked to first base alongside trainer Tomas Vera and manager David Bell, he grimaced as he took off his left batting glove. After reaching first base, it was a short talk before Farmer returned to the dugout and was removed for Matt Reynolds.
When Farmer spoke to reporters afterward, he said he felt a tight and sharp pain in his hand, but hoped he wouldn’t miss more than a few games.
“It wasn’t meant to be, I know, but anyone throwing 100 mph, it doesn’t give you a lot of time to get out of the way,” Farmer said. “If you throw 100 mph, 101, 102 and you hit someone, that’s pretty devastating.”
The news that Farmer didn’t break his hand was a relief to his teammates and coaches. They all feared the worst.
“It hit him pretty red, so you’re holding your breath and hoping and praying it’s going to be okay,” Nick Senzel said. “In short, he’s our man and we want him with us every day. You never want that to happen, but I don’t think it was meant to be. I was just happy to see that he was okay.”
Bell stayed on the field to chat with home plate umpire Tripp Gibson. After a lengthy conversation, which seemed relatively calm, Gibson dismissed Bell.
The ejection enraged Bell, who yelled at Gibson as crew chief Laz Diaz tried to separate the manager and the umpire. Bell’s animated argument lasted over a minute as he attempted to circle home plate to continue his conversation with Gibson.
“Absolutely nothing against the pitcher,” Bell said. “He was trying to make pitches. I pointed out that giving a few pitches earlier in the game from the outside of the plate forces our batters to dive out. That’s all I said.
“It’s a rule, you can’t argue about balls and strokes. I haven’t said a word from the dugout all year. It would be good to have a little more leeway, but it’s a rule you can’t argue balls and strikes.”
After Reds bench coach Freddie Benavides tried to move Bell away from feuding with Gibson, Bell briefly walked over to the dugout before continuing his feud with Diaz.
It was Bell’s second eviction this season and the 18th in his four-year management career.
The Reds lost their fourth game in a row on Saturday and have lost 10 consecutive home games. Has any of the frustration built up over Bell’s eviction?
“Absolutely not, that had nothing to do with any kind of frustration about losing games; completely separate,” Bell said. “There’s enough frustration – staff, players, myself. I know our players are doing everything they can to turn this around. Our staff is doing the same. So I’m looking long and hard at what to do to turn this around and getting it in the right direction. That’s really our only focus.”
Atlanta outfielder Adam Duvall was hit in the second inning by a 92 mph fastball off his left hand by Reds starter Tyler Mahle. Duvall stayed in the game as a runner, picked off from first base with the bases loaded, but didn’t return for the third inning.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Kyle Farmer leaves Reds game vs. Braves with an injury; David Bell ejected