Sunday’s Red Sox game at Baltimore was a spectacle. And although, after two quiet losses, Boston came away with a much-needed win, the sight of a baseball careening towards Manny Machado‘s head and Dustin Pedroia‘s weird, mid-game, cross-field apology was just downright bizarre.
This mess started Friday when Machado slid late and hard into Pedroia resulting in an injury that has sidelined the Sox second baseman for both Saturday’s and Sunday’s games.
With a large lead late in the game Sunday, Sox reliever Matt Barnes ostensibly sought some retribution, but the ball sailed dangerously close to Machado’s head.
Today, The New York Post said Pedroia didn’t just throw Barnes under the bus in the aftermath of the near-beaning of Machado, but that he drove the bus and then “put it in reverse to back over Barnes.” Post sportswriter Joel Sherman is calling for a 25-game suspension for Barnes, through the longest suspension for throwing at a batter since 2000 has been ten games.
Over at ESPN.com, Scott Lauber writes that Sunday’s shot at Machado “was hardly the proportional response that jibes with baseball’s unspoken code.”
And while Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports called Barnes’ post-game denials “unlikely,” he also implied that Baltimore’s Zach Britton‘s shot at Pedroia (“If he can’t control his own teammates, then there’s a bigger issue over there”) was silly. Like Sherman, Rosenthal thinks Pedroia should’ve protected his teammates and spoken to Machado privately rather than engage in the mid-game, on-field apology.
After the game Orioles manager Buck Showalter repeatedly and nauseatingly extolled the “courage” of his team. Meanwhile, word came from the Sox Monday that Pedroia had been examined at Massachusetts General Hospital and that he’s now listed as “day-to-day,” therefore likely to avoid the Disabled List.
Pretty much everyone agrees, this isn’t over. Boston and Baltimore are the newest, hottest AL East rivalry. They meet again, this time at Fenway, next Monday May 1.
After an 0-for-4 outing Friday, a day off Saturday seemed to refresh Red Sox rookie outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
On Sunday, Benintendi went 5-for-5 with an RBI becoming just the second Sox player since at least 1913 with a 5-hit performance in one of his first 52 career games. The other Boston player to do that was the venerable Sox Hall of Famer Johnny Pesky on June 13, 1942 (also a 9-inning game).
Ironically, baseball’s overall last player to collect 5-hits within his first 52 career games was Benintendi’s teammate Steve Selsky, who did it with the Reds last September 26, his 19th career major league game.