Major League Baseball announced on Saturday that it has suspended Houston Astros outfielder Brian Abreu for two games for “intentionally throwing” at Texas Rangers outfielder Adelis Garcia during Friday’s Game 5 win over the Texans. Here’s what you need to know:
- The suspension is effective immediately, but Abreu can appeal it.
- Abreu Garcia hit a bunt in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Rangers leading 4-2, igniting a brawl to clear the benches.
- After discussion among the referees, Abreu, Garcia and Houston manager Dusty Baker were ejected.
- The Astros lead the Rangers 3-2 in the American League Championship Series and face each other next Sunday in Game 6.
- Astros outfielder Lance McCullers Jr. and Rangers outfielder Matt Bush were both assessed undisclosed fines and banned from their team’s bench for the remainder of the American League Championship Series for their roles in the brawl. Neither pitcher was active in the series, but they were fined “due to their role in the incident,” according to the league.
what do you know
Every Astro asked about the incident after Friday’s game — including Abreu himself — and claimed the pitch toward Garcia was unintentional. The six referees officiating the match disagreed. MLB cited the umpires’ determination in the press release announcing Abreu’s suspension along with “the dangerous nature of the field and its potential impact on player safety.”
Abreu hit Garcia in the shoulder with a 98.3 mph fastball on the first pitch. Both Abreu and Baker said the team intended to push Garcia up and in, but catcher Martin Maldonado claimed the pitch that hit Garcia was supposed to be thrown away. Maldonado prepared away as well. It should be noted that Abreu faced 287 batters during the regular season and struck out only three of them. – Chandler Rome, Astros staff writer
Was this surprising?
Although he arrives at a bad time for the Astros, MLB’s decision is not surprising. The vision of the situation was too drastic for the league to ignore, and as Justin Verlander said after Friday’s game, “I understand Major League Baseball and trying to take the hit off the field, and pitchers and teams are watching the game the way it’s done.” It used to be done. I understand that. it’s dangerous.”
A first-pitch fastball at nearly 99 mph above the waist is something the league can’t ignore, especially after six of its umpires determined the pitch was intentional. – Rome