One of the sloppier games seen in years devolved into chaos in bottom of the fifth inning. Tigers starter Matt Boyd threw behind Minnesota Twins’ slugger, Miguel Sano, just missing his rear end with the first pitch of the at bat. Sano took offense, walking out in front of the plate to wave his finger and shout at Boyd. Tigers’ catcher James McCann moved to restrain Sano, and the Twins third baseman turned and threw a wild punch at McCann before home plate umpire Jordan Baker managed to get hold of Sano and drag him away.
Nick Castellanos was red-hot, flying in from third base toward Sano, followed quickly by Daniel Norris and the rest of the Tigers’ infield and bench as the Twins’ dugout emptied as well. Sano and Boyd were both tossed from the game, though no further incidents occurred beyond the usual posturing. The bad blood should have come as no surprise to the umpiring crew.
Boyd nearly misses Sano with a pitch and the bench clear ensues pic.twitter.com/RBPNfvCFLY— Ron W (@FIPmyWHIP) April 22, 2017
Earlier in the game, JaCoby Jones was hit square in the face by a fastball out of the hand of Minnesota Twins reliever, Justin Haley. While the pitch wasn’t intentional, the devastating nature of the injury was bound to send tempers flaring. The umpiring crew dropped the ball by not issuing a warning to the Twins, and Haley stayed in the game and rightly continued to pitch inside, escaping the inning unscathed.
Basically it appeared Boyd threw a classic plunk pitch at Sano’s backside. Sano, as the Twins best hitter, is the likely recipient of such a pitch. He probably should have simply worn it and continued on, particularly as it didn’t connect in the first place. Still, no one likes to get thrown at, and he didn’t charge the mound. It was also foolish by Boyd at that point, in a close game that the Tigers dearly needed to win. Nonsense all around, including from the umpire in the midst of one of the uglier games you’ll ever see from a defensive and umpiring standpoint both.