Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In the two games since being swept by the Yankees over the weekend the Boston Red Sox have not only shown more offense (13 runs in two games, compared to 8 during the sweep), but also a little fire and life. Now that fiery attitude may cost them one of their star players for a few games. 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis charged the mound after being hit in the back by a Rick Porcello pitch in the 2nd inning. Both he and Porcello were ejected following the "brawl" in which no other real punches were thrown.
Youkilis should have never charged the mound over what occured last night. In the first place, the pitch looked to just tail inside, and didn't seem to 'target' the batter. Secondly, the pitch hit him in the back, which is the best place on the body to get hit (though not sure if there is any place that is okay for a 90 MPH fastball to hit). If Porcello had wanted to 'hurt' Youkilis or send a message a pitch at his head or knees would have been more likely. Now I can understand why Youkilis thought the pitch was intentional. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was hit in the hand in the top of the first inning. And tempers were still high from Monday night when a combined three batters were hit (including Youkilis). That doesn't excuse Youkilis for charging the mound and throwing his helmet, especially considering that since it was the 2nd inning it probably wasn't 'retaliation'. Even if it was a message in response to Cabrera getting hit, Youkilis needs to realize that of the three batters hit Monday night, he was the only Red Sox player. Three Detroit players had been hit and only one Boston player, if Youkilis wants to be mad at someone he should get angry at his own pitching staff for exposing him like that.
Now due to his temper I'd expect Youkilis to be suspended for 3-5 games. Which is bad news for the Red Sox, since they have two more games against the Tigers then a 3 game set at the Rangers. If Youkilis is smart he won't appeal the decision, because delaying it for a couple of days could mean the suspension would be in effect, for the next Yankees series the following weekend. Hopefully, MLB doesn't crack the whip too much and try to suspend Porcello as well. He didn't really deserve to be ejected in the first place, since the benches weren't warned (though he did throw inside earlier to Victor Martinez), and he was only defending himself in the brawl. Any further suspension would be unfair punishment for a Tiger team trying to stay ahead of the White Sox and Twins. While its nice to see some fire out of Beantown after their embarrassment in the Bronx, losing one of your best players for multiple games in the middle of a pennant race is just plain stupid (next time Youk, let Nick Green charge the mound, Boston needs you on the field).