José Altuve was removed from Venezuela's game against the United States in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday after getting hit by a pitch in the hand during the bottom of the fifth inning.
American reliever Daniel Bard lost control of a 96 mph fastball that ran up and in on Altuve, catching him on the hand as he attempted to duck out of harm's way.
The Astros’ superstar second baseman was visibly in pain as the medical staff rushed out to tend to his hand. The 32-year-old went to the ground before getting back to his feet and attempting to walk off the pain.
Ultimately, the infielder was taken to Venezuela's dugout and then removed from the game.
It’s a big blow for the nation during its quarterfinal matchup, and could potentially cause problems for Houston ahead of the 2023 MLB campaign, too.
Altuve is the latest MLB star to go down with an injury during the WBC. Mets’ closer Edwin Díaz suffered a season-ending leg injury earlier this week while celebrating Puerto Rico’s victory over the Dominican Republic.
With Altuve unable to continue, Venezuela replaced the veteran with Angels infielder Luis Rengifo, who took over as a pinch-runner at first base.