LOS ANGELES — When Major League Baseball eventually comes for the umpires, replacing them with pitch-tracking technology, perhaps they’ll explain the switch with a simple phrase.
“Watch the tape.”
That’s about all Eric Cooper had to say late Tuesday night when a pool reporter asked why Nick Hundley had been ejected despite not throwing any punches at Yasiel Puig.
“Watch the tape,” Cooper said. “You’ll see why he had to be ejected.”
Well, not really. First of all, Hundley was wearing a catcher’s mask, so it was hard to tell what he was saying to Puig. Hundley and Puig went face-to-face, but it was Puig who twice shoved Hundley, with the catcher reaching out both times to block the move. The Giants were baffled that Hundley was ejected after a long conversation between the umpires.
“I don’t get it, either, to be honest,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ll see what the (umpires) report says. You’re going to defend yourself.”
Hundley said he’s not concerned about any discipline from the league.
San Francisco Giants
“I was defending myself. He was defending himself. I don’t see why it should go any further than that,” he said.
--- This fight escalated quickly but there wasn’t actually much action, with one exception. As Hundley was being held back, Puig ran back in, threw a few teammates out of the way, and tried to punch Hundley. He ended up slapping his mask with an open hand as Hundley was being held back.
“I saw him coming,” Hundley said. “Unfortunately I wasn’t able to defend myself in that spot, being tangled up with someone else. The league will look at that. That’s something that’s up to the league to discipline somebody. That’s not my job to enforce any behavioral things.”
--- Hundley was held back, and essentially tackled, by first base coach George Lombard. He later came out onto the top step of the dugout and had a brief conversation with Lombard. Hundley said he was checking to make sure Lombard didn’t get hurt in the altercation.
--- Lost in all that, Andrew Suarez had his best start in over a month. Suarez gave up some loud contact, but threw six shutout innings. He got all four strikeouts with his fastball and said that was the plan.
“I’ve noticed a lot of teams are spitting on my sliders lately,” he said.
Suarez went heavy with the heater in two-strike counts and had a big night. He also won bragging rights. Suarez and Manny Machado have been playing on the same fields since they were eight, and while Machado hit the ball hard twice, he didn’t get a hit off Suarez.