Matt Adams shoves fan with glove after missing foul ball

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There was an interesting moment in the bottom of the third inning at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati this afternoon, as Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams attempted to catch a foul ball off the bat of Reds outfielder Chris Heisey. He dove into the stands along the first-base line to catch it, but came up empty-handed. Adams decided to tap the fan who caught the ball with his glove, which ended up looking a lot like a shove. The fan quickly responded by flipping the bird to Adams. Fun stuff.

Check out the exchange in this Vine, courtesy of user Chris Looy.

C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with the fan in question, Chris Smith, after the incident:

“He gave me a shove and I fell back,” Smith said. “I’m pretty sensitive about my knee right now. I’m fresh out of surgery, it’s nothing to joke around about.”

Leaning over the tarp, Adams was in position to catch the ball, but Smith had his glove above Adams’ glove and made the catch. A fan has the right to catch a ball if he doesn’t go into the field of play, and replays showed Smith didn’t.

“I didn’t reach over, I stayed where I was, I couldn’t reach out if I tried, because I can’t hit my knee on anything,” Smith said, pointing to the cup holder in front of him right at knee-level.

Smith and friend Kristen Kidd, who was sitting next to him, said there were no words exchanged between the two. Just the shove — and the gesture that was caught live on TV.

“I wouldn’t be mad if he wasn’t hurt,” Kidd said.

There is, of course, no way Adams could know Smith was hurt, but it was still her first reaction to look out for her friend.

“He didn’t say anything,” Smith said. “He just looked at me right in the face and walked away.”

This isn’t the end of the world, but you have to wonder how this incident would be covered if say, someone like Yasiel Puig was the one who did it. Anyway, the fan was well within his rights to catch the ball and hopefully Adams will think twice next time about touching a fan unprovoked. Fortunately, this didn’t escalate into a bigger confrontation.

Mike Leake loses perfect game bid on leadoff single in the ninth

Mike Leake
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Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.

It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.

The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.

In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.

Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.