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.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.