Major League Baseball announced on Saturday it had suspended Chicago White Sox right-hander Mike Wright for three games after concluding he had intentionally plunked Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani earlier this week. White Sox manager Tony La Russa was also banned for a game; he'll serve his suspension on Saturday, missing the White Sox's contest against the Texas Rangers. Wright, for his part, is appealing his suspension.
The incident in question occurred during the top of the ninth inning of Thursday's game. Wright threw four pitches to Ohtani, with one of them narrowly missing him and another striking him in the leg. Here's video of the sequence, courtesy of Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times:
Here was the sequence that ended with Shohei Ohtani getting plunked— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) September 16, 2021
Joe Maddon thought the White Sox were throwing intentionally. Tony La Russa (who was not happy about being ejected) claimed they were not https://t.co/9k6fGhrVeZ pic.twitter.com/WSxgK9sHtI
The umpiring staff converged after the hit by pitch and agreed to eject Wright from the game. Angels manager Joe Maddon felt Ohtani was plunked in an act of retaliation after a pair of White Sox hitters were hit by pitches earlier in the series. La Russa, predictably, disagreed with the umpires and Maddon's reads of the situation.
"The reasoning did not make sense. He felt that there was stuff flying around in that first game; it was all us getting hit but he noticed all that and they didn't do anything. We didn't do anything that day and yesterday," La Russa told reporters, including Larry Hawley of WGN. "We pitched Ohtani tough all series. He got a couple of soft hits against us. But he ruled that that was intentional, and he made a mistake."
Wright, 31 years old, has made nine appearances for the White Sox this season, his first outings in the majors since 2019. In those games, he's allowed five earned runs on 10 hits and seven walks. He's mustered seven strikeouts over 13 1/3 innings.