Jose Bautista came late to stardom, but he pitched a fit any diva would have been proud of after getting fanned by the Rays’ James Shields for the third time tonight.
Bautista yelled at home-plate umpire Bill Welke, took his bat to the dugout wall and threw his bat and helmet onto the field after being tossed from the game in the sixth inning. He had struck out in all three of his plate appearances.
Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune points out that Shields became the first pitcher since Felix Hernandez on Sept. 24, 2009 to strike out Bautista three times in a game.
Bautista, a top candidate for AL MVP honors, entered the night with a .317 average, 37 homers and 82 RBI. He had 83 strikeouts and 105 walks in 117 games.