Culberson was struck directly on the right cheekbone by a 91 mph fastball in the seventh inning on the first pitch by Nationals reliever Fernando Rodney.
The utility player, who who was pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, immediately fell to the ground as Braves medical personnel rushed out to assist him. Blood dripped from his face before he was helped to his feet with a towel pressed to his face and taken off the field on the back of a cart on his way to the hospital.
“He was good when he went to the hospital. I mean, he was alert and all of that stuff,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “I think it was bones around his eye.
“We just don’t (know) any of the extent of what’s going on yet. We are just praying for him and his family. That’s scary.”
The Braves are not expected to update Culberson’s status before Sunday morning.
Snitker was ejected on the play that injured Culberson after launching into a tirade against home plate umpire Tim Timmons and first-base umpire Bill Welke. Timmons called a strike on Culberson after Nationals manager Dave Martinez requested Timmons check with Welke to see whether Culberson offered at the pitch. Replays show the ball never made contact with the bat.
It was the fourth time this year the Braves manager had been thrown out of a game and the 13th time in his career.
Brian Snitker was FIRED UP! @Braves went on to score 9 runs after this happened.
“You can’t bunt when the ball is coming at your face,” Snitker said. “That just sounds like … My God. I am not going to even get into that. I am sitting there looking at this (guy), pooling blood on the ground. And I am like, ‘Come on.’ ”