Now, I was there firsthand tonight. However, as I was working, I am not sure how everything transpired. I know Miguel Cabrera got hit near the wrist OR on the knob of the bat area. I know Victor Martinez was not happy getting an inside fastball thrown to him. The first inning and a half took so long to go by, that all I knew it was 8pm.
A fan seated in the last row of the 3rd base field box seats had just stopped me to buy some ice when Youkilis got plunked and all bedlam broke loose. Youk charged the mound, the whole park was on there feet as dugouts and bullpens emptied out. Chants of: “Youk, Youk, Youk.” From my view, it look like Youk had a nice take down and the excitement was electric in the little band box. The umpired then held a conference as another chant of “Throw him out” went up. The umpires then through out Porcello.
A little later, another on-field fracas took place when Terry Francona came out to agure with the 2nd base umpire after he called Drew out trying to steal second. Francona was hot, and as he turned to head back to the dugout, he got tossed by the ump. Francona went off more, and the crowd started a “Terry” chant. Any replays I saw, showed that the play was CLOSE, but I think the umpire got the call right.
After I got home, I caught some of the discussion on MLB Tonight. Mitch Williams and Joe Magrane were discussing the incident. Both of them agreed that Porcello did not throw intentionally at Youk. Williams had said the pitch was a two-seam fastball. Magrane or Matt Vasgersian (I think it was Matt) said wouldn’t you throw a four seam fastball if you were going to hit someone. Williams said, “Yes, plus it would hurt more.” Now, I don’t really know the difference between a 2 seam and 4 seam, but in my opinion, he was not trying to hit Youkilis. They also made note of Porcello’s reaction after he threw the pitch. You can tell from his reaction, that he is upset that the pitch hit him. I agree with Williams and Magrane, after further review.
During this discussion, MLB Tonight showed the incidents in last night’s game where Brad Penny hit Cabrera. This was followed by Edwin Jackson hitting Youkilis in the ribs with a pitch. That was OBVIOUSLY intentional. Youkilis would have been less in the wrong charging Jackson. However, Jackson isn’t a 20 year old rookie, so maybe Youkilis was a little apprehensive about charging Jackson.
Even worse for Youk, he got tossed down to the ground by the rookie. I was actually looking forward to be able to see the incident when I got home, because it looked like it was a good take down by Youk from my view along the 3rd base line. Unfortunately, Youk was wrong to charge the mound, and ended up getting thrown down and I would judge as the loser in the brawl. Finally, to add insult to injury, the Sox are going to lose his bat for anywhere from 5 – 8 games.
Oh yeah, one last thing. This incident overshadowed the performance of rookie pitcher Junichi Tazawa. Tazawa got his first career win. He went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. He was probably a Nick Green error (another one?) from allowing zero runs, thus probably being able to got 6 or 7 innings. In the first, Tazawa got Carlos Guillen to ground into what seemed like an inning ending double play. However, Green’s throw was terrible, and the Sox weren’t able to even get 1 out, never mind the 2. This allowed a run to score, and eventually 2 more scored.
However, Tazawa pitched well despite the errors, and shut down the Tigers the rest of the night. This is looking like a nice signing for the Red Sox. He pitched well in his debut in New York, despite giving up the game losing HR. He’s got good stuff, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.
In the end, even though Youkilis was wrong to charge, that incident may have been a spark plug because later that inning, Jason Bay CRUSHED (and I mean CRUSHED) a 3-run HR to tie the game. Also, luckily, for the Sox, they may end up being able to absorb Youkilis’ upcoming suspension with the likes of Mike Lowell. He may be showing the lingering effects of his hip injury, but the guy can still hit. He and Tazawa (along with Bay’s bomb) were the stars of the game, but the Youkilis brawl stole the show and is what everyone will be talking about the next day or so.
PS. Sorry for my long absence. You may read more about that in the future. 😉