If you happened to miss last night’s melee at Camden Yards, click here. Orioles shortstop Manny Machado wasn’t happy that Royals starter Yordano Ventura pitched inside to him, so after flying out in the bottom of the second inning on Tuesday night, he had a few words with the right-hander. In their next meeting, in the bottom of the fifth, Ventura drilled Machado in the ribs with a 99 MPH fastball. Machado charged the mound and punched Ventura in the face.
As Craig illustrated earlier today, this kind of behavior is Ventura’s standard operating procedure. Ventura lost the benefit of the doubt due to previous incidents in which he was a hothead. There aren’t many outside the state of Missouri who are willing to go to bat for Ventura’s behavior.
Unsurprisingly, one of the few people willing to stand up for Ventura is manager Ned Yost. Via Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star:
Yost added that Ventura is still the same “fearless” pitcher he was back in 2014 when he pitched Game 6 of the World Series for the Royals, going seven scoreless innings to force a Game 7. Ventura has struggled this year, however, posting a 5.32 ERA with a 44/35 K/BB ratio in 66 innings. His walk rate is way up, lending credence to the defense that those inside pitches to Machado had more to do with poor command than anything else.