Grant Balfour says Victor Martinez gave him “the death stare” and things escalated from there. While no punches were thrown, things got quite heated in the ninth inning of Oakland’s Game 3 win over the Detroit on Monday, adding some extra drama headed into Game 4.
Here’s the video:
And here’s Balfour talking to CSNBayArea.com afterwards.
Martinez didn’t have anything to say after the game, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland just chalked it up to some extra playoff intensity, while adding that Balfour is always that intense anyway.
One thing that will be interesting to follow in Tuesday’s Game 4: Tigers starter Doug Fister finished second in the AL with 16 hit by pitches this year. It wouldn’t necessarily be intentional, but the A’s may decide to take it personally if they start getting plunked.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.