The Boston Red Sox squared off against the Baltimore Orioles Friday night, the two have had some heated battles in the last couple of years do to the competitiveness of both ball clubs. Friday night was no different as the pitching battle between Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz and Orioles righty Dylan Bundy both pitched well in what ended up being a low scoring 2-0 victory for the O’s.
In the bottom frame of the eighth inning Friday night drama was in full effect, as Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was injured on a potential double play attempt after a ground ball was hit by Orioles outfielder Mark Trumbo to Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts then threw the ball to Pedroia at second where the four-time All-Star was in position to try and complete the taylor-made double play. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado attempting to break up the double play slid late and took out Pedroia’s calf.
High tempers were flaring as the play was called “dirty," Red Sox manager John Farrell was displeased after Pedroia was helped off the field by teammates.
“He’s sore right now,” Farrell told reporters. “Had a chance to talk to him briefly after we came in. We’ll certainly re-evaluate him tomorrow for his availability but that probably could have been a whole lot worse from what we’re seeing right now in the training room. So extremely late slide and the argument at the time was that if the rule is in place to protect the middle infielder, then it didn’t work tonight. I know there’s a component to the rule that says he’s got to deliberately and willfully attempt a double play. When you’re cleaned out, beyond second base, and the runner never held second base completely, to me the rule failed tonight. … It was a late slide.”
With Farrell fired up, Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield was as well. In the top half of the next inning, Butterfield let the field umpire have all of his frustration that came from that play and was ejected and of course did not go down without a fight.
For Pedroia, who is unquestionably the leader of this team seems to be okay, the rumor is that this is a minimal injury. When asked about the play after Friday nights game, the 11-year veteran didn’t seem to pleased with the play.
“Listen, man, I’ve turned double plays in the big leagues for 11 years. That’s my job. That’s not the first time I’ve been hit. It won’t be the last. It’s baseball, man. I can’t speak for them. I just know what my job is. I signed up for that. That’s the way I look at it.” “I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years. I don’t need the [expletive] rule, let’s be honest. The rule is irrelevant. The rule is for people with bad footwork, and that’s it.”
Overall, if you go back and look at the play Machado didn’t look like he had any intent to injure Pedroia. Although, his slide was very late and in my best judgement I’d say Machado was probably flabbergasted because he wasn’t going to slide to prevent the double play and thought to do so when it was too late.
Another positive sign was when Machado attempts to help Pedroia up at the end of the play, seeing that their was some sympathy tells me enough that this act wasn’t intentional. On the other hand, if you don’t think this act will intensify this AL East rivalry even more as the two ball clubs still have 16 games left head-to-head, then you better recognize.