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Umpire Joe West exits game after being hit by Bo Bichette’s backswing

Joe West exits game

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 06: Home plate umpire Joe West in action during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on August 6, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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Umpire Joe West left Thursday’s game between the Nationals and Blue Jays following the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff batter Bo Bichette appeared to make contact with West’s facemask on his backswing after offering at an Erick Fedde fastball. West was clearly bleeding on the side of his face.

West exited the game and Vic Carapazza took over as the home plate umpire. The remainder of Thursday’s game will be manned by three umpires.

When play resumed, Bichette doubled and later scored on a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. single that dropped in shallow left field, giving the Jays an early 1-0 lead. Fedde is starting in place of Stephen Strasburg, who is dealing with nerve irritation.

West’s status should be known later tonight or tomorrow. It didn’t look serious but you can never be too careful with head injuries, though West might argue otherwise.

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