Marlins starting pitcher Jose Urena hitting Braves phenom Ronald Acuna with his first pitch of the game. Acuna had homered in five straight games, which included three straight leadoff jobs and a two-homer game on Tuesday.was
Here's the pitch and the aftermath:
Urena was rightfully ejected and through the rest of the night, was subject of pretty great ridicule in other broadcasts and on social media. It wasn't just fans, either, meathead guy who thinks it's tough to throw a ball at someone from 60 feet, six inches. Here's starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy saying that it's not just the Braves' clubhouse that will be upset:
Garbage baseball. Hard to throw one pitch and piss off two clubhouses so good luck Jose dealing with the mess you've made.— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) August 16, 2018
In the replies, someone asked McCarthy if it were possible that Urena was ordered to hit Acuna and he said "not a chance in the world."
Hall of Famer Chipper Jones makes a good point, too:
So by this way of thinking, Jacob deGrom should get drilled cuz he’s the hottest pitcher on the planet? NO! I enjoy watching him pitch and I enjoy watching RAJ play the game. I’m old school just like this broadcaster, but these comments are waaay off base! https://t.co/N21hLVxBef— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) August 16, 2018
Urena, for his part, takes the "pitching inside" defense, via the Miami Herald.
"I think for me I feel pretty bad," Urena said. "People get upset and things like that, but I got upset too because how am I going to wait five days to go out there and make one pitch and get kicked out of the game? That don't make sense, right? Always I throw inside. That's my way for to get outs. I go inside try to take advantage and try to move [the batter's] feet and that's the thing."
The only reason we have to even consider Urena is telling the truth is that he has terrible control and command. He led the majors by hitting 14 guys last season in 169 2/3 innings. This year, his 11 hit batsmen is tops in the NL despite him only logging 129 innings. He's thrown seven wild pitches in the last two seasons, too. Even when he's in the strike zone, he rarely puts the ball where he wants.
On this front, then, it's pretty reckless to be going inside, given that he can't put the ball where he wants. And that's only if we take him at his word.
Thankfully, Acuna escaped serious injury. The Braves have announced that his CT scan came back normal and he's now listed as day-to-day.
Regardless, expect a suspension for Urena in the coming hours.