The Houston Astros were down by two in the 8th inning and there was a man on first base when Adolis Garcia stepped up to the plate. Bryan Abreu’s first pitch of his at-bat lost it's release point and plunked Garcia with a 98 MPH fastball. Adolis Garcia subsequently went off on Martin Maldonado and the home plate umpire tried to hold him back but Garcia pushed his arms off of him. Benches cleared, the scene was palpable. At one point Adolis got away from his teammate and did an end around to sprint towards Maldonado and almost getting to him, Maldy prepares for an impact but a Rangers teammate grabs him just in time.
The melee took minutes to sort out, and with both teams all around home plate that was one cause but the umpires deliberation was another huge issue. The umpires met together and decided to throw out Bryan Abreu, the Astros shutdown set up man. It made no sense why. Announcers claimed they were trying to get control of the game, but this isn’t football or basketball, it’s baseball and someone on the Astros will get beaned next game, it’s almost guaranteed.
Why would Bryan Abreu or the Astros even want to hit Adolis Garcia?
The situation didn’t call for it at all. If the Astros were down 10 or up 10 sure but the Astros were down by 2 in the 8th inning and now there were men on first and second. Hitting Adolis put a runner in scoring position. It didn't make sense and it doesn’t make sense now.
Is this a continuation by Garcia of the feud earlier in the season when multiple times players were hit by pitches, most notably for the Astros Yordan Alvarez? It seems so. Garcia is very emotional as was showcased by his go ahead 3-run homer earlier in the game where he walked towards first and football spiked his bat into the ground and then stomped on home plate. Guaranteed now the Ranger will plunk Yordan Alvarez or Martin Maldonado.
Bryan Abreu said in a postgame interview that it was not intentional and was trying to “throw up and in” on that pitch and missed. Abreu was not warned at all after the fact and just tossed which he also pointed out to reporters in the post game interview. Abreu also shared he was made even more angry because he missed Altuve’s go ahead home run celebration. Other online sports personalities agreed with the ejection because it was intentional was not justified. Adolis Garcia in his postgame interview said he was upset because “he could have hurt me, he could have injured me”. Garcia is no slouch when it comes to physique but certainly no one wants to be hit by anything going 98 MPH.
Other big name Astros had a lot to say about the situation. When asked in postgame Justin Verlander echoed the same notion other Astros did, that it makes no sense for the Astros to hit Garcia. He specifically said “there’s no chance we are trying to hit somebody” and “there’s no way we are going to put another runner on when we are down by two”. Verlander gets it, and Dusty Baker likely argued the same point to the umpires after they ejected Abreu.
In a rare show of emotion Baker was tossed from the game and the he went off on the umpire and at one point it seemed he refused to leave. Baker was hot and that propelled the Astros further. Martin Maldonado also said as much about the situation in a post game interview:
“The worst thing that he did was wake up the Houston Astros”
Maldonado was spot on in his proclamation. Jose Altuve came up in the top of the 9th with two men on and down by 2 and he further cemented his legacy as the greatest Astro of all time with his go ahead 3-run homer to left field. Altuve’s home run resounded deep in the hearts of the Astros players and fans as the Astros took a 3-2 series lead back to Houston.
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