Ned Yost met the press just now before Game 4 and, when asked about the Syndergaard pitch, Yost said “we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve, too.” When asked specifically if that meant that a Royals pitcher would throw at a Mets hitter tonight, Yost said “no.” Which is exactly what he’d say even if they had plans to do that, but never mind. I’d make sure you have your TV on for the first pitch of this game all the same.
Expanding on the pitch to Escobar, Yost kept referring to it as Syndergaard throwing “under his chin.” Which, as we discussed last night, seems exaggerated. It was inside, but it wasn’t even in the batter’s box. “There’s a lot of different places you could throw that ball if you didn’t want to throw a first-pitch strike,” Yost said. When asked where Yost thinks it is appropriate to throw a pitch in such a way to keep a hitter off balance he talked about moving a batter’s feet, throwing inside but not up high, as throwing at someone’s head could seriously hurt someone or end his career.
And Yost is right about that. But a day later I still don’t think that Syndergaard’s pitch was out of bounds, even if his postgame bravado laid it on a bit thick. He had a first pitch fastball dude at the plate and he threw a pitch that made him think. Not under threat of violence, but under the distinct possibility that the pitch may not be hittable.
Heck, I hope Steven Matz throws an eephus pitch to Escobar to lead things off tonight. Or throws it at those temporary VIP boxes on either side of the plate. Hitting Joe Torre? Now THAT would send a message. Not sure what the message would be, but it would certainly send one.