Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox charged the mound of pitcher Rick Porcello of the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night, leading to the ejection of both players but dramatically altering the game in favor of the Red Sox. Boston had been down 3-0 prior to this incident but eventually won 7-5.
How to Help Your Team
Youkilis may have been understandably angry at being hit by a pitch throw by the Tigers’ pitching ace, Rick Porcello, but how does charging the mound ever help your team? It didn’t seem to help at the time because both Youkilis and Porcello were ejected, according to a news report by the Associated Press.
Boston always needs Youkilis in the game, along with his excellent 2009 batting average which is .311, according to his ESPN profile page.
However, after the melee the Red Sox got a quick three runs in the bottom half of the second inning which tied the game. By the end of the sixth inning and before a rain delay, the score was 6-3 in favor of Boston over Detroit.
Payback Continues from Day Before
The incident tonight was from an incident that carried over from the night before, in a close 6-5 win by Boston over Detroit. In that game Youklis was hit by a pitch by Detroit’s Fu-Te Ni which was a payback hit for a hit on Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera by Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny, according to projo.com.
Since Cabrera is Detroit’s best offensive player, one could understand why Detroit’s other players would look out for him and not allow a hit on him to go without retaliation.
Detroit Tigers and Pitcher Rick Porcello
Why the tension in the game? Well, specifically, the Red Sox had just lost six of their last seven games, including a four-game sweep by the New York Yankees. It is bad enough to lose to the Yankees once, but to lose four in a row and to be swept in a series would make any MLB player and team rather irritable.
The Boston Red Sox are now 5 ½ games behind the Yankees and that is a big lead in any division. Even worse, the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays both have more than 60 wins which makes them both legitimate contenders for the wild card spot in addition to the Red Sox. In short, Boston is starting to feel the pressure.
At the start of this game the Tigers took a quick and commanding three-run lead, in no small part to pitcher Rick Porcello who is having a great season with 10 wins so far. The Tigers are currently leading the American League Central so we know they are a solid club and have a shot at winning a few of the games in this 4-game series with the Red Sox.
This sort of payback and retribution needs to end quickly and MLB officials need to consider some hefty fines and suspensions for this kind of conduct. We will have to wait to see if any Boston or Detroit players will be suspended because of the actions of today and yesterday.
MLB Standings, ESPN.com
Boston Red Sox, ESPN.com
“Youkilis charges mound as Red Sox, Tigers brawl at Fenway,” Associated Press, Aug. 11, 2009.
“Youkilis charges the mound after taking a fastball to the back,” Daniel Barbarisi and Joe McDonald, projo.com, Aug. 11, 2009.