Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki survived a frightening moment after getting hit in the head with a bat during Sunday’s series finale against the Padres. In the second, Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran put down a 3-2 slider and induced his third swinging strikeout to end the inning, but Raffy Lopez swung around and inadvertently clipped Suzuki on the right side of his head as he struck out.
Suzuki was attended to by a team trainer before exiting the field. The veteran backstop underwent a mid-game evaluation and is listed as day-to-day for the time being. Prior to his early departure, he went 0-for-1 with a fly out against San Diego lefty Matt Strahm.
Backup catcher Tyler Flowers stepped in for Suzuki to start the third inning. Not a single Padres batter has reached base via hit in the first six innings of the game.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended and fined for his actions during Thursday’s doubleheader against the Rays. Boone was ejected from Game 1 after making contact with home plate umpire Brennan Miller and will not be available to manage the Yankees during their series opener against the Rockies on Friday.
The ejection was triggered by a missed strikeout call in the second inning of Game 1, prompting Boone to run out to home plate and deliver one of his lengthier and more bizarre rants of the season. Incensed by Miller’s shaky grasp of the strike zone, Boone repeatedly referred to his players as “f***ing savages” and told the umpire to “tighten this s**t up.”
Exactly when the illicit contact came into play remains unclear, but crew chief Gerry Davis later commented on the situation and said Boone had crossed some boundaries during his tirade. Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch: “You’re not allowed to argue balls and strikes, so yeah. Yes he did [go too far]. That will all be in the report.”
In his own statements to the press, Boone defended his use of the word “savages,” claiming, “I always just want our guys all the time controlling the strike zone and making it hard on the pitchers. That’s something those guys take a lot of pride in as a lineup.” Several Yankees players, including Luke Voit and Aaron Judge, backed up the skipper’s decision to confront Miller as well, though Voit was the only player to explicitly support Boone’s use of the term.