Shameful: Benches Clear After Marlins Drill Ronald Acuña Jr. With Their Very First Pitch

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Shameful: Benches Clear After Marlins Drill Ronald Acuña Jr. With Their Very First Pitch

Chicago Cubs

As Michael noted earlier today in the MLBits, 20-year-old Braves phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. is one of the hottest streaks in recent memory, including three straight games with a leadoff homer in their current series with the Marlins.

He did not get a chance to make it four games in a row tonight, because Marlins righty José Ureña drilled him with the very first pitch of the game:

It wasn’t just the Braves broadcasting crew that thought the pitch was clearly intentional. After the shock of what had just happened sank in, the Braves were fired up:

After discussion about what had just happened, and presumably some thought about how this must have been an intentional “message” about Acuña’s performance in the series, Ureña was booted. Get this:

For whatever reason, the Braves’ manager was also booted for leading the charge against Ureña, even though he was clearly right.

You hope there isn’t more coming later. Acuña was eventually able to take first base, although he was clearly in pain from taking a shot off the elbow, and then later had to leave the game in the next half-inning.

There needs to be a significant suspension forthcoming for Ureña if the pitch is deemed to have been intentional (and clearly the umpires tonight believed that it was), and maybe even for manager Don Mattingly if it can (somehow) be determined it probably came from him. It’s bad enough when pitchers are out there throwing at guys because they believe they are protecting their teammates. But to do it just to send a message to a kid who is playing too well? That’s so disgustingly beyond the pale.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.