The World Series got off to a chippy start last night when Syndergaard buzzed a first pitch high and inside by Alcides Escobar’s head.
The first thing that came to my mind was this:
The second thing I wondered is if the volatile Ventura would take the bait. Judging by the subsequent pitches to Escobar, it was clear that first pitch was intentional. Escobar has been aggressive at the plate, swinging at first pitches on pretty much every at bat, and the high and inside approach worked, resulting in a strike out. That first pitch was angry, and the Royals were understandably upset, yawing from their dugout.
After the game, Syndergaard confirmed that pitch was intentional. From MLB.com:
“I mean, my first words to [catcher] Travis [d’Arnaud] when we walked in the clubhouse today was, ‘How do you feel about high and tight for the first pitch?'” Syndergaard said. “I mean, I certainly wasn’t trying to hit the guy, that’s for sure. I just didn’t want him getting too comfortable. If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, 6 inches away. I’ve got no problem with that.
“I know that from the past, I think every postseason game Escobar has played in, he has swung at the first-pitch fastball, and I didn’t think he would want to swing at that one.”
Throwing tight and inside is a necessary part of the game, but throwing at somebody’s head on purpose–that’s dirty. What do y’all think?
Oh, by the way. The Mets won, 9-3. The Royals lead the Series, 2-1.