He was hit hard in his previous two turns, giving up five runs in five innings at Texas and seven runs over six innings versus the Yankees.
Alright, now that that’s over.
“It was one of those things where it lingered longer than expected, but I only missed two starts”. Girardi called it clearly intentional, plunking a guy who’d hit almost a half-mile worth of home runs in the series to that point.
The tensions were already high in the fifth inning after Gary Sanchez got plunked by Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer in the at-bat following his fourth home run of the series. Betances argued it was an accident but was immediately ejected along with Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson, who was filling in for Girardi. But then Cabrera and catcher Austin Romine start catching and all hell breaks loose.
The scuffle between Cabrera and Romine began after reliever Aroldis Chapman finished his warmup pitches following Kahnle’s ejection. And this was just the beginning.
The next inning, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances plunked Tigers catcher James McCann in the head with a 98 miles per hour fastball. He ended up tossing the Tigers All-Star to the ground, as both benches and bullpens cleared. Betances was visibly upset walking off the field, and Girardi clearly was fuming in the clubhouse.
“I don’t know what he was thinking to be honest with you, ” Todd Frazier said. If you watch the video of the exchange, Sanchez was waving his glove in a “come and get some” manner. As long as the Yankees offense shows up for this one, NY probably has the advantage here if Tanaka is healthy and throwing well.
Cabrera and Romine were ejected, and Romine was so incensed by his dismissal that he threw his mask when he entered the dugout. We do not know if a player was hit in the head with a 98 miles per hour fastball or not, but we know that it should never have gotten that far.
However, the fun was not over…
Sanchez and Todd Frazier each had three hits for NY.
“You’d rather win the game, but that certainly added some entertainment”, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Amidst the boxing match between the Yankees and Tigers on Thursday at Comerica Park, an actual baseball game broke out, and the Yankees lost, 10-6. Regardless of the reaction to Martinez’s comment, the bigger concern for the Yankees is what the discipline handed down by Major League Baseball will be. The fights were fun to watch.
Within seconds both teams had leapt off their benches into the fray, players and managers alike grasping at jerseys, flailing at times to hit their opponents or hold their teammates back.
It was fun, entertaining, and gave Tigers fans something to be excited about. He went to first base and nothing further occurred – until Fulmer’s fastball Thursday to the hip of the red-hot Gary Sanchez became lighter fluid to one of the season’s wildest games.