Zobrist says it was "painfully obvious" Quintana threw at him
Tampa Bay Rays 2B/RF Ben Zobrist said it was "painfully obvious," White Sox LHP Jose Quintana was trying to throw at him in the fourth inning Tuesday, an event that led to Quintana getting ejected and both dugouts warned.
“It was two feet behind me,” Zobrist said. “I was just smirking, like, ‘You think pitchers can hit their spots, they miss by quite a bit sometimes.’”
Zobrist believed it had something to do with White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski getting hit in the back by a pitch from RHP Alex Cobb the previous inning. Zobrist had taken issue with Pierzynski for his slide into second base in Tuesday's game, when he said the veteran catcher clipped him in the left ankle with his cleat in an attempt to break up a double play.
“I didn’t think there was a play at first base and I was on the very back of the bag and he went out of his way to come take his cleat on my ankle,” Zobrist said. “I just let him know I didn’t think it was necessary.”
However, manager Joe Maddon said he didn't direct any of his players to retaliate Wednesday, and Cobb said his plunking of Pierzynski wasn't on purpose.
"I was just trying to go fastball in and yanked it a little bit," Cobb said.
Then again, Quintana also said he didn't have any intent with his wild pitch behind Zobrist. Quintana said Pierzynski made a late call for a changeup when he was ready to throw a fastball, and instead of crossing up his catcher, he threw it and "it slipped out."
Said Pierzynski: "I set up away, and he threw it in - I don’t know.”
Quintana was surprised to get ejected by home plate umpire, with White Sox manager Robin Ventura and Pierzynski arguing the call.
"I've never seen anything like it," Ventura said. "I was shocked. Usually if a guy feels it's intent, it's a warning and it goes from there. And we just agreed to disagree."
Zobrist and Maddon felt Wegner did a great job of handling the situation, keeping it from escalating further.
Said Maddon: "When a pitcher throws behind you like that it’s pretty obvious what their intent was, regardless of the denials on the other side.”
-- JOE SMITH