Big Unit 's Big Mistake
Last night, I checked the box scores and saw that the Yankees had won, and better yet, that Randy Johnson had actually pitched well. I was a little perplexed when I saw that he lasted only 6.1 innings, and even more so when I noticed that he'd thrown only 78 pitches, until I saw this at the bottom of the boxscore:
NEW YORK PITCHER RANDY JOHNSON AND MANAGER JOE TORRE WERE EJECTED IN THE SEVENTH INNING BY HOME PLATE UMPIRE PAUL SCHRIEBER AFTER A WARNING WAS ISSUED DUE TO A BATTER BEING HIT BY A PITCH.
The situation, of course, was a bit more complicated than that. Indians starter Jason Johnson buzzed Derek Jeter in the 5th inning, and the Jorge Posada was plunked in the 6th, on his arm. That got Posada fired up, but perhaps inappropriately so. Jason Johnson is a control pitcher, walking only 49 batters in 210 innings alst year. Despite his 6'6", 225 lb frame, Jason doesn't throw particularly hard, notching only 93 strikeouts last season, relying on ground balls for outs, when he can get them. (He's struggled quite a bit this year, as his nice, round 6.00 ERA attests.) He'd just given up a homer to Johnny Damon in the 5th inning, making it 3-1, Yankees, and a single to Mekly Cabrera, who was thrown out trying to get to second. That's when he threw inside to Jeter, who eventually walked, though he got Jason Giambi to ground out to end the fifth.
After allowing a single to Alex Rodriguez, Jason Johnson hit Posada, but the plunking came on a 1-2 count, with A-Rod on first base and nobody out, the game still very much in question, at only 3-1 in the sixth, so it's hard to make an argument that Posada was hit intentionally. Still, Jorge didn't like it, and jawed at Johnson all the way to first base. Jason fot Robinson Cano to ground into a double play, but pretty much fell apart after that, allowing an automatic double to Bernie Williams, which scored A-Rod, and then a homer to Andy Phillips, making it 6-1, Yanks. At that point, both benches were warned about retaliation, so when Randy Johnson threw a 1-0 pitch WAY inside to Eduardo Perez with one out in the seventh, he was automatically ejected.
Read the rest at Double Play Depth...