At PNC Park in Pittsburgh, they set off fireworks when either a batter gets a homerun or when they win a game. Unfortunately, both these events occurred in the Pirates game against the Giants today. But even more unfortunately, the biggest fireworks were not in the sky but on the field.
Marco Scutaro was hit by a pitch today in the 7th inning. It did not look like he was hit on purpose – the pitcher at the time (Tony Watson) pitched him a little too far inside and caught his hand. Scutaro was in obvious intense pain and had to leave the game. Thankfully, he did not break anything, but there is no word yet as to when he will be able to return to playing (hope it’s sooner than later – take care, Marco!). This on top of all the other players out right now (Pagan, Sandoval, Vogelsong, and Casilla) apparently fired up some tempers.
George Kontos came into the game during the 7th inning, after Scutaro had been hit. He had a pretty rough 7th, then he came back to pitch again in the 8th. In the 8th, he sent a pitch behind Starling Marte. Yes, behind. At first, I thought he had lost control of the ball until I heard the announcers mention that it was probably retaliation for the Pirates hitting Scutaro. They said if you want to hit someone intentionally, you throw the ball behind them and they will back into it. Seriously? They actually think these things out ahead of time?? Anyway, Kontos got a warning from the umpire at that point. Then two batters later, Kontos threw a fastball that hit the Pirates’ star player, Andrew McCutchen, on the backside. At that point Kontos and Bochy were kicked out of the game.
I was physically ill once I realized what Kontos was doing, watching him pitch at McCutchen. It digusted me so much more than even spitting does (and you know how adamantly I feel about that!). And from the look on Bochy’s face in the dugout, either he had told Kontos what to do or he was condoning what he was doing. The reasoning you will get for this action from the players is that they are protecting their teammates. If you hit one of my guys, I’ll hit one of yours. That is ridiculous. Guys can get seriously hurt that way. And what did the act of purposefully hitting McCutchen accomplish? Is that really going to get the Pirates to stop pitching inside? No. Is it going to change the way they pitch in any way at all? No. What will be the actual outcome of all of it? Kontos and Bochy will probably be suspended and fined. So neither will be available to help the team try to win more games. Tell me how that helps the team in any way? These guys need to get over their macho selves and grow up and act like human beings instead of boys having a temper tantrum. Purposefully throwing a ball over 90 mph with the intention of hitting someone is wrong. You cannot debate that. I hate the fact that I have lost respect for the two of them (and anyone else I find out had anything to do with it).
The really sad thing is that this nonsense overshadowed some of the positive things that happened during this game. The whole Brandon Crawford hitting against his sister’s boyfriend thing was fun. I was so glad that he finally got a hit. And Gerrit Cole did a fantastic job on his first pitching outing in the big leagues – have to give the guy credit even though he was on the opposing team. Brandon Belt made a fantastic catch over the rail. The new kids (Juan Perez and Tony Abreu) both had strong showings today. And Buster was sporting some new facial hair – not sure if it was a goatee or a soul patch. It definitely covered his chin and part of his face. Trying to focus on these things tonight.
Going to quit here. I have 2 new spit counts, but I’ll try to post those tomorrow. Feeling kind of low right now. Still love my boys, but sometimes being awoken to the reality of baseball sucks. I’m just praying that there won’t be any more foolishness and retaliation tomorrow or in the future. Please stop this nonsense and focus on the task at hand – winning. GO GIANTS!!