Beanball or Competitive Baseball?


May 31, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Phillips missed time after betting drilled by a Tony Watson pitch. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports))

If you ask Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, he will tell you that this deal about all the hit batsmen is simply competitive baseball. At least that’s what he told the gathered mass of media after last night’s 4-0 win over the Reds.

Prior to last night’s game, the Pittsburgh social media circles were lit about the issue on the Pirates (still) needing to exact revenge on the Reds. Their latest reason: Aroldis Chapman pitching high and tight to Neil Walker during the previous night’s game. They also reminded us Reds fans of Chappy nailing Andrew McCutchen last season.

Or maybe was it that Cucth was hit in the series’ first game?

Pirates pitchers, or shall I say, Charlie Morton hit two Reds batters last night. Shin-Soo Choo was the Reds first victim…on Morton’s first pitch. And both Hurdle and Morton completely denied any wrongdoing. It was a pitch that “got away” according to Morton.

Xavier Paul was the Reds player that Morton hit. Since Morton returned from the disabled list, he has hit 5 opponents…in 10.1 innings. During his rehab assignment, Morton only hit one batter in 19 innings of work.

Read into that what you will…

In games involving the Reds and the Pirates this season, Pirates pitchers have hit Reds batters 10 times. Reds pitchers have hit 6 Pirates batters. For 2013, Pirates pitchers have now hit 39 opposing batters, tops in all of baseball. Reds pitchers have hit only 24, 13th in MLB.

What’s bizarre is that the Reds have been tagged with the “bad boy” image on these grounds.

If you’re wondering, Pirates batters have been hit the most this season with 41. Cincy is second with 38. If you’re using basic math, there is a huge discrepancy in those numbers. Again, the Reds are the ones with the reputation. At least on these grounds, the Reds new found image isn’t justified.

During all the post-game chatter, we learned that Mat Latos was fined after hitting Walker during the June 2 game. Seeing two more teammates wearing seams after being hit during last night’s game doesn’t sit well with Latos. Here’s this from C. Trent Rosecrans’ post.

"“I got in trouble for hitting Neil Walker and protecting my teammates,” Latos said, referring to his last start against Pittsburgh. “I just think it’s time for someone step up and stop the team that’s drilled the most guys in the league. They’ve hit a lot of guys — whether it was intentional or by accident — something’s got to be done about it.”– Mat Latos"

Not surprised this doesn’t sit well with Latos. We know he will stick up for his teammates. He got docked some dough for being a team guy.

And lest anyone forgets,so far this season no Pirate has missed time after being hit by a Reds pitcher. I recall that a Reds player has after being nailed. That guy was the one pictured at the beginning of this post.

But that gets swept under the rug.