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Kyle Crick and Felipe Vázquez’s fight was over music


The other night Pirates relievers Kyle Crick and Felipe Vázquez got into a fight and Crick suffered an injury to the index finger on his pitching hand. He underwent extensor tendon repair surgery and his season is over.

Now we know what the fight was about. From Nubyjas Wilborn of the Post-Gazette: it was music. As in Crick was playing music at his locker, Vázquez asked him to turn it off, Crick said no, they argued, and then fisticuffs ensued. And, depending on how precise this characterization of it is, it sounds like Vázquez may have sucker punched Crick:

Vazquez threw a punch that Crick wasn’t expecting and then followed with another blow, and Crick retaliated with punches back at Vazquez. The fight ended with Vazquez requiring six stitches to his nose. Vazquez was seen after the game with bandages on his nose.

Crick was fined $2,500 by the team, while Vazquez was fined $10,000, according to a team source.

Crick told Wilborn he’s filing a grievance over the fine because he feels like he was attacked and was merely defending himself.

Obviously there was some simmering animosity here before the dispute over music. You’ll recall that last month there was another incident in which bullpen coach Euclides Rojas was suspended for a couple of games. That was the result of an on-field pregame shouting match between him and Crick which required Pirates players to separate the two. The source of the shouting: Crick asking why Vázquez wasn’t on the field for warmups and why Vázquez was allowed to wear t-shirts rather than warmup jerseys during the pregame routine. I’m gonna assume Vázquez was well aware that Crick had a problem with him when the music fight began.

Anyway. Vázquez is an elite reliever who is under contract through 2022 and there’s a club option for 2023. Crick is under team control for several more years. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re both reporting to Bradenton next February.



On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.