Last night Joey Votto was plunked by Dan Otero in the seventh inning of the Giants-Reds game. If Otero was actually trying to hit Votto it was pretty remarkable, because that would have been the only spot he hit in what was an otherwise hellish night for the Giants’ reliever. Way more likely: ball actually got away from Otero.
The Reds apparently didn’t see it that way, because in the ninth inning, Reds reliever Sam LeCure threw behind Buster Posey in what seemed to be a retaliatory move. You hit our big guy, we’ll hit yours.
Bruce Bochy was not enamored of the move. As Hank Schulman reports, Bochy mouthed the words, “That’s f***ing bulls**t” when it happened. And after the game had something to say:
“The kid (Otero) has got two weeks in the big-leagues. He’s trying to get through an inning. He’s trying to survive. He’s not trying to hit anybody. He was scuffling out there. I’m sure he was nervous … That’s how people get hurt. Here’s a guy (Posey) we lost for a long time last year and he gets a ball thrown at his kneecap.”
Posey took care of it himself, of course, by hitting a homer later in the at bat. Still, I have to agree with Bochy: there’s no way Otero was throwing at Votto. Kid couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn last night.
Emotions are apparently high all around baseball, not just in Miami. In Toronto, the emotion was anger between the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Josh Donaldson was hit by a Luis Severino 1-1, 97 MPH fastball with one out in the bottom of the first inning. In the top of the second, J.A. Happ threw to fastballs back-to-back that were up and in to Chase Headley. The second one hit him. The Yankees, understandably, were not too happy about it, but order was quickly restored and play resumed with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor issuing warnings to both teams. The Yankees would finish the inning without scoring a run.
In the bottom of the second, Severino began the inning with two up and in fastballs at Justin Smoak. Both Severino and manager Joe Girardi were ejected and the benches emptied again, this time with more anger. There was some yelling as well as some pushing and shoving.
It doesn’t appear that Severino appeared to intentionally hit Donaldson, but he very clearly intended to retaliate against Smoak. Happ has issued retaliatory beanballs before in defense of Donaldson. He did so on April 23 against the Athletics. Donaldson hit a home run in the second inning and was hit by a Liam Hendriks pitch in the sixth. Khris Davis led off the next inning for the A’s and Happ hit him with a pitch. Plus, Happ’s two pitches to Headley were both up and in.
Severino and Happ are likely looking at fines. There’s a possibility of suspensions as well. Happ, however, was not ejected from the game.
As expected, the Marlins and Mets paid their respect to pitcher Jose Fernandez prior to the start of Monday night’s game at Marlins Park. It was emotionally charged and very tough to watch without becoming a sobbing mess.
The stadium was as quiet as a library even before the P.A. requested a moment of silence. The Marlins’ players rubbed the chalk line, just as Fernandez used to do. The starters — sans starting pitcher Adam Conley — rallied around the pitchers’ mound. The Mets’ players poured out onto the field and removed their caps as the National Anthem was played.
Once the anthem was completed, the stadium remained quiet. The Mets and Marlins formed lines and went through hugging each player. The fans began chanting, “Jose, Jose, Jose!”
The rest of the Marlins joined the starters and they wrapped around the edge of the dirt on the pitcher’s mound. Some of them drew in the dirt with their fingers. Others rubbed dirt on their pants. Then, they huddled and Giancarlo Stanton gave a motivational speech of sorts. The players came in close and they all put their index fingers in the middle, pointed up at the sky, and broke the huddle to begin the game.
There is crying in baseball.