Last night, successive Phillies batters got drilled by Cardinals reliever Genesis Cabrera, who had completely lost his control. Bryce Harper got hit in the face, and then Didi Gregorius got hit in the side. Phillies manager Joe Girardi was so mad that both teams got a warning after that – instead of Cabrera getting tossed – that he mock ejected the umpire.
Today, in what all sides perceived as retaliation, Phillies reliever Hector Neris put a 94 mph fastball up and in, between Nolan Arenado’s shoulder blades:
— Hunter Brody (@Brodes81) April 29, 2021
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt came out to beef, got himself ejected, and then had some truly bizarre comments after the game.
"That's old school baseball. A couple of their guys got drilled pretty good, so you can expect some retaliation. It was done as clean as possible. And we move on. That's how the game polices itself. That's why you didn't see this ugly, people-going-nuts skirmish." — Shildt.
— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) April 29, 2021
Shildt’s been clear that the situation the last few days has been handled as best as can be, “as clean as possible.” Said Neris “did it right,” as those things can be done. “We move on and that’s how the game polices itself."
— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) April 29, 2021
So … it was good that the other team threw a 94 mph fastball riding up and in to your star player? That was an outcome that you APPROVE of? What the f***? This pitch is “as clean as possible”:
“This is good to me,” Totally Normal Manager says. pic.twitter.com/Ep7FSkDBmL
— Bleacher Nation Cubs (@BleacherNation) April 29, 2021
I have long gotten the sense that Shildt is an odd guy, but I have no idea what the thinking is here. You had a pitcher get wild and nearly take a player’s face off. Then the other team retaliates to that wildness by nearly doming Arenado, and you say, “Yeah, this is what is supposed to happen. I dig it.” Maybe I’m misunderstanding, though the reference to “old school” makes me think I’m not.
Pretty simple stuff in my view: don’t intentionally try to hit a guy, especially in retaliation, and especially-especially up high. Throw it behind their legs if you absolutely have to …