“I’m just praying,” distraught Cubs player says after girl hit with foul ball during game

A child was taken to a hospital after being smitten by a foul ball during a game Wednesday between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.

The Astros, who hosted the game at Minute Maid Park, aforementioned in a statement that they were not able to disclose any more inside information, other than to confirm that the child was taken to a hospital.

“The Astros send our thoughts and prayers to the entire family,” the team aforementioned in the statement.

The foul ball, a fourth frame line drive into the stands on the third-base line, came off the bat of the Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. The 25-year-old outfielder instantly appeared concerned and grew visibly upset.

After taking a few steps away from the batter’s box, Almora crouched by home plate, where he was consoled by mate Jason Heyward and Cubs manager Joe Maddon. Other players, as well as umpires, besides appeared to be jolted up.

In the bottom half of the frame, Almora took the field and went over to the section of the stands near where the child was smitten. He shared an emotional moment with a member of the stadium’s security staff.

According to The Associated Press, the child, best-known as a young girl, was picked up and rush away by a man who appeared to be attendant her.

some other fan attending the game told the Houston Chronicle that he followed the pair up the steps after retrieving the ball that smitten the child. He represented the child as “alert” and “conscious.” ESPN’s Jesse Rogers according that the initial prognosis was positive, citing sources.

The girl was sitting just past where protective netting extends to the end of the visitors’ dugout. The incident revived calls for all MLB teams to extend the netting.

“Obviously, I want to put a net around the whole stadium,” Almora told reporters after the game.

Still distraught, he struggled to hold back his emotions as he discussed what happened.

“Right now, I’m just praying and I’m speechless,” he aforementioned, according to ESPN. “I’m at loss of words. Being a father, two boys … but God willing, I’ll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life. But just prayers right now, and that’s all I really can control.”

He aforementioned was trying to keep his calm during the bat.

“But when that half-frame was over I just couldn’t hold it anymore,” Almora aforementioned.

Almora aforementioned the Cubs offered to remove him from the game, but he thought he would have struggled more mentally if he had left.

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After several fans were smitten by hard-hit balls in 2017, including an incident in which a young girl was taken by stretcher from Yankee bowl, MLB announced that all of its teams would extend netting at least as far as the dugouts for the 2018 season.

“The safety and security of our fans in the ballpark is obviously really, really important to us,” Commissioner Rob Manfred aforementioned at the time.

But MLB took some criticism for not mandating that the protective material go much further down each foul line. In March, the husband of a Los Angeles Dodgers fan killed after being smitten in the head by a batted ball aforementioned he would never return to Dodger bowl until the team installed more netting. some other fan at Dodger bowl was hit by a foul ball Wednesday night, according to images from the telecast.

Following Wednesday’s game in Houston, Chicago’s kris Bryant reiterated his call for Major League Baseball to extend the netting around the field of play to better protect fans, telling ESPN’s Jeff Passan: “There’s a lot of kids coming to the games — young kids who want to watch us play, and the balls come in hard. I mean, the speed of the game is quick, and I think any safety measure we can take to, you know, make sure that the fans are safe, we should do it.”