The tension between the Astros and Angels has yet to settle nine days after a violent collision at home plate left one player with a broken nose and another with a suspension.
The culprit of that ugly collision, Houston outfielder Jake Marisnick, was plunked in the upper back by an apparent retaliation pitch from Los Angeles reliever Noé Ramirez during Tuesday’s 7-2 Angels win.
Ramirez wasn’t thrown out, but both teams’ benches emptied after arguments broke out between the Angels’ Albert Pujols and players in Houston’s dugout. While Marisnick didn’t react much and simply took his base without incident, the whole situation left Astros manager A.J. Hinch furious after the game.
“They got a free shot at him with no warning, with no ejection,” Hinch told the Associated Press. “We’ll see if there’s discipline, and without discipline there’s not going to be any issue doing it the next time.”
While Marisnick and his manager maintain that his July 7 collision with Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy was not malicious, the league still handed Marisnick a two-game suspension (which he is currently appealing).
Lucroy will require surgery to repair his broken nose, and Angels fans voiced their displeasure on Tuesday by booing and, according to Hinch, heckling Marisnick.
“The fans were brutal over the dugout,” Hinch said. “He was certainly the villain tonight.”
Both bullpens cleared after things got heated between Albert Pujols and the Astros dugout 👀 pic.twitter.com/rWztU7H3eP
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) July 17, 2019
Hinch’s biggest issue was with what he viewed as an inconsistency in MLB’s method of punishment of a home-plate collision compared to what he saw as intentionally throwing at one of his players.
“I feel bad for players nowadays,” he said. “There's a lot of gray area in what to do. Sometimes you can run over catchers. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes you can slide into second, but their guy can slide three feet out the base today and nothing happened to him. Sometimes you can retaliate, like tonight, they're going to get away with it, unless he gets suspended."
Both Ramirez and Angels manager Brad Ausmus denied that the hit-by-pitch on a 1-1 count was intentional.
“The first pitch was a strike,” Ausmus said, according to the Orange County Register. “If he swings at it and hits it, we’re not even talking about it. It’s tough to go to a 1-1 count with any intent. Noé is a right-handed pitcher who comes down from the side and sometimes people get hit.”
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