There were no beanballs and no brawl, a day after Washington closer Jonathan Papelbon hit Manny Machado with a pitch in the ninth, two innings after Machado hit a go-ahead two-run homer off Max Scherzer to give Baltimore a 4-3 victory.
Papelbon was ejected in the top of the ninth inning of the game at Nationals Park after throwing two pitches near the head of Machado in an at-bat, the second of which – a 93-MPH fastball – struck Machado’s shoulder, causing both team’s benches to clear. Papelbon also refused to engage in a war of words – “If Manny thinks I hit him, then that’s what he thinks”, he said – and instead suggested he’s already turned the page on the incident. Davis tends to disproportionately struggle against elite pitchers like Papelbon, but he nonetheless leads the Majors in home runs and, with a runner on base, held a decent chance of turning one bad pitch into two very big insurance runs. That’s just bulls-t. It’s coward stuff.
Papelbon has played for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Nationals this season. I eventually got the strikeout as my friend’s knees turned to Jell-o, and we ironed out our differences the next day at school. Clint Robinson hit a ball over the head of Parra (the sooner I don’t have to watch him playing CF, the better), putting the tying run on second with no outs. Holding a baseball with the ability to throw it 95 miles per hour wherever one so desires, it is far too easy to seek revenge when an immature, me-first attitude takes over. For his own benefit though, I’d prefer he stays in the American League as DH duties could allow him to get into the lineup more if his body has trouble keeping up with the grueling schedule.
The veteran closer maintained after the game the hit-by-pitch was unintentional and that he didn’t agree with his ejection, so it makes sense he’ll dispute the decision. “He was a special man. He was as good of a person as he was a player. So, it’s one of those situations where it happens and I don’t know, I’ll probably get drilled tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens”.
“Perception is reality”, he said.
The Nationals have now lost six of their last nine games at home and remain 6.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East going into the series finale against the Orioles at 4:05 p.m. September 24.
When I threw at my friend, I knew what I was doing, but I was a child, without a fully developed moral compass.
“We feel good, but it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the last 15 (games)”, Wieters said. Somehow, in almost 35 years of life, Jonathan Papelbon has not learned the same thing. Baltimore RHP Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.26) will face Boston LHP and former Oriole Rich Hill (1-0, 1.93) on Friday in Boston. Jordan Zimmermann (13-8, 3.49) hosts Jerad Eickhoff (1-3, 3.16). It’s hard to put your finger on what exactly went wrong, but, you know, it all boils down to winning.