Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado in the middle of it all


Let’s cut right to the chase; Washington felt that Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles looked at his seventh inning home run for a bit too long last night. Or at least Jonathan Papelbon (who didn’t even give up the home run) thought he did. I’ve always said that I don’t have a problem with a pitcher throwing at a player in that instance. However it’s how it happened that was a problem.

Chris Tillman gave the O’s a great outing last night, and due to some good timing was able to walk away with his tenth victory of the season. Tillman’s line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K. Needless to say, it was a quality start. Tillman had the lead from the beginning, as Steve Pearce’s two-run homer gave the Birds a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. However Tillman struggled with command a bit in the last of the inning, and he gave up an RBI-single to Yunel Escobar to leave the score at 2-1

Live Feed

The SF Giants spent big this offseason. Could they do it again next offseason?
The SF Giants spent big this offseason. Could they do it again next offseason? /

Around the Foghorn

  • MLB rumors roundup: San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas RangersCall to the Pen
  • The Chicago White Sox might get another chance at Manny Machado in 2023Southside Showdown
  • San Diego Padres may have to worry about losing Manny MachadoCall to the Pen
  • Why are the Miami Marlins outspent by San Diego?Marlin Maniac
  • Sandy Alcantara should’ve won the NL MVPMarlin Maniac
  • Washington would tie things up in the last of the fifth when catcher Wilson Ramos’ RBI-double scored Michael Taylor. Later in the innin they would the lead on Anthony Rendon’s sac fly-RBI. At that point it appeared that it could be a matter of recording outs the rest of the way for Washington. However manager Matt Williams uncharacteristically left starter Max Scherzer in for one hitter too many in the seventh…

    …and it was Machado who benefited from that decision.On a 2-2 count with a runner on and two outs, Machado got a hanging slider. He jumped on it, and hit it into the  “Red Porch” area of Nationals Park. That gave Tillman a chance to be the winner, reliant on what the bullpen did. And the Orioles’ pen held on well, with Mychal Givens pitching two solid innings and Darren O’Day getting the save in the ninth.

    Again, the belief was that Machado may have held his pose at home plate for a bit longer than he needed to do. So when Machado came to bat in the top of the ninth with two away, he started off with a pitch up close to Machado’s head – high and tight. That seemed to give Machado pause, but the second pitch was well out of the zone but away from Machado. Then Papelbon landed his intent pitch on the third try, hitting Machado in the upper shoulder area.

    More from Orioles News

    Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    Papelbon was immediately ejected after hitting Machado, who was none too pleased at what had taken place. Buck Showalter raced out of the dugout to ensure that his player didn’t escalate the situation, and both benches cleared. In general, I’m not in the business of interpreting intent. However there was little doubt that Papelbon hit Machado intentionally. Apparently Papelbon was the only person in the park who didn’t think so, as he and manager Matt Williams vehemently protested his ejection.

    Again, if you’re going to hit someone intentionally for something that happened earlier (such as admiring a home run), I do understand that. However it should never be done in the vicinty of the head – you bury the pitch in the guy’s back or thigh. That’s why Machado took exception to the pitch – it was the location, not the pitch itself (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko of MASNsports):

    "I don’t necessarily think I’m being targeted. I’m going up there making good swings. If people are trying to hit me, it’s part of the game. I’m not worried about getting hit. I’ll take the hits. Its part of the game. Pitchers out there, the ball can slip out of your hand, but when you throw at the head on first pitch right from the get-go, then you throw a curveball and then you throw again at the head, that’s just bull(crap). It’s coward stuff. It’s just cowardly."

    Again, the act of hitting someone isn’t the part that’s cowardly, it’s the location. Furtherore the sanity in doing it when it was done (in the ninth inning of a one-run game that was very winnable from Washington’s standpoint) is questionable on Papelbon’s part also. Contrary to what some might say, throwing at someone is part of the game if you feel that player showed you up in some manner. I’m not suggesting that Machado showed Washington up (or that he did not); I’m simply saying that there was an impression that he waited a little too long to run. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But targeting someone’s head is bush league – and is NOT part of the game.

    The series concludes this afternoon on what was previously a day off for both teams. Rookie Tyler Wilson will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Tanner Roark. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles should be wary of Scott Boras

    More from Birds Watcher