VIDEO: Benches clear after Chris Sale hits Victor Martinez with pitch
Chris Sale hit Victor Martinez with a pitch Wednesday and the benches cleared for a second. Here's what transpired in video form.
Dog and pony show? A little. Still, let's sort out the background here.
1. Entering Wednesday, Victor Martinez was 15 for 28 (.536) with three doubles and three homers in his career against Chris Sale.
2. In the first inning, Martinez was intentionally walked. To end the third inning, Sale struck out Martinez with two runners on base. As can be seen in the video, after the strikeout, Sale tipped his cap to someone/something and motioned toward center field.
3. After hitting Martinez with a pitch, Sale again seemed to be referencing something in center field.
4. If it matters to anyone, Sale does have good control overall, but he also hits guys on occasion. He is now tied for fourth in the AL with 11 hit batsmen this season. He was tied for fourth last season with 14.
It's hard to say with certainty the intent of any pitcher most of the time, but that was a first-pitch fastball and we have the multiple motions to center field -- which seem to signify that Sale believes someone was relaying pitches to at least Martinez and maybe more Tigers hitters.
If he did hit Martinez on purpose, it cost his team, because J.D. Martinez followed with a double and then Victor was plated by a sac fly to tie the game, 1-1.
And now, time for the post-game comments, where it looks like Sale is denying anything along the sign-stealing front or throwing at Martinez on purpose, while the Tigers believe the opposite on both fronts.
Sale asked if he thought Tigers were stealing signs: "No."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 24, 2014
Sale: "If you are going to pitch him in, you got to get in. One got away."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 24, 2014
Sale said he was motioning to a fan wearing him out during pregame— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 24, 2014
Ausmus trolling Sale a bit: "I doubt Victor Martinez had somebody [with binoculars] at US Cellular Field when he hit the HR off of him."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) September 24, 2014
Ausmus: "If they injure Victor there and we're in the playoff hunt, that's bad news. That just can't happen. He clearly did it on purpose."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) September 24, 2014
Ausmus: "If we retaliate, now 1 of our guys gets suspended. That guy could be suspended into the playoffs. It was just weak on Sale's part."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) September 24, 2014