Whether or not actions such as these are intentional or not, Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles has controversy find him. He’s just one of those people. And I don’t say that in an accusatory manner, because I’ve noticed that I’m one of them also. And I can tell you from my own experience that I don’t seek it out – it just finds me. But when it hits, it’s not as if one can simply walk away.
The Orioles got yet another great outing from a starting pitcher, this time Dylan Bundy. As I said yesterday, it all begins and ends with starting pitching. And with that said once again, Bundy really put on a great show on the Orioles’ behalf yesterday. Bundy’s line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead on an Adam Jones RBI-single to right field in the third inning. Manny Machado would also smack a solo shot over the center field wall in the last of the fifth. And that’s your ballgame, folks! All you need is two runs (actually one) when you get solid pitching as such.
It’s also worth noting that Brad Brach has three consecutive saves that were all pretty flawless. Brach has admirably been filling in for the Orioles’ injured closer (Britton), who’s getting closer to returning. And that’s been a load off of the mind of Buck Showalter, as Brach’s taken the ball and been running with it.
Regarding the aforementioned Machado incident; he executed a hard slide into second base, which took out Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The replay showed that the slide might have been a bit later than normal, however simply a hard slide to try to break up the double-play – which Machado did. However Machado’s cleat popped off the bag, spiking Pedroia in the calf. That had Boston fuming during and after the game. (It also got their third base coach tossed in the top of the ninth when he decided to continue the argument.)
It’s tough to interpret intent – most of the time. So I can’t say whether or not Machado did this on purpose. However I’ll give you my opinion, which is that while it was a bit late and yes a hard slide, the spiking wasn’t intentional. Machado’s spike made contact with second base, and then popped off and scraped Pedroia. If he was going to intentionally do that, would he not have just gone at Pedroia directly?
Furthermore, after realizing what he had done, he attempted to catch Pedroia as he fell down. That hardly seems like the actions of someone who did something like that on purpose. It would seem to me that one would have to be a pretty good actor to pull all of that off and make it look like an accident. And keep in mind that these plays are all bang-bang in a sense – they evolve quickly.
What happens moving on from here obviously is unknown. There are two games left in the weekend series, and loads left in the regular season between these two teams. Does Boston decide to throw at Machado or someone else? Tough to say. Nothing could happen, or the benches could clear – or something in between.
Again, Machado seems to be the type of guy who just has controversy find him. And I’ll say it again, I’m the same way for whatever reason. I could have someone bump into me on the street and suddenly start saying hey man cool it and back off! So I’m not accusing Machado of anything, because I know the type of predicament in which he can sometimes find himself. It happens to me all the time.
Believe me folks, it’s not something that you seek out – controversy just finds you. So speaking for myself, I try to keep my nose clean and my head down. And I’m sure Machado tries to do the same, but unfortunately sometimes lightning rods are unsuccessful at deflecting controversy. Again, it happens to me all the time!
The series continues tonight at Camden Yards. The Orioles will be starting Jayson Aquino for the first time this year, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Steve Wright. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.