The Angels defended the honor of an injured teammate Tuesday night by plunking – intentionally or not – the guy who caused the injury. Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick got his for smashing – unintentionally or not – Jonathan Lucroy’s face in the previous series between the teams.
In most years, this would have been an unremarkable transaction. In 2019, it was the source of rancor and confusion.
The benches and bullpens cleared after Angels first baseman Albert Pujols stepped toward Astros players who were woofing in the Houston dugout. Marisnick was trying to be a peacemaker.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch lays the blame for the incident at the Angels, yes, but also at MLB for its inconsistent policing of the game.
MLB suspended Marisnick two games for running into Lucroy at home plate on July 7. Marisnick, who has appealed the ban, maintains that he was trying to avoid Lucroy and didn’t expect the catcher to drift into his path. Lucroy suffered a broken nose and a concussion and will miss several weeks.
It looked as though the Angels felt the need to retaliate, even though Ramirez and Angels manager Brad Ausmus issued the standard postgame denials and evasions. Ramirez hit Marisnick with a fastball after throwing two breaking balls, another thing that aggravated Hinch.
“The first pitch was a strike,” Ausmus told reporters, per the Orange County Register. “If he swings at it and hits it, we’re not even talking about it. It’s tough to go to a 1-and-1 count with any intent. Noé is a right-handed pitcher who comes down from the side and sometimes people get hit.”
Ramirez had hit two batters this season prior to Tuesday.
Source: Read Full Article