“If you hit our guy, we’re going to hit your guy” is the way the phrase goes — unless you’re the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cincinnati Reds have been bullying the Pirates ever since last August when Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman hit Pirates’ center fielder Andrew McCutchen near the head with his 100-plus mph fastball.
Until the Pirates do something about it, like hit a Reds’ player or charge the mound, the Reds aren’t going to respect them enough to stop beaning their players. Monday night was just another example of this. Mike Leake hit McCutchen in the top of the fourth inning and the Pirates had a chance to hit Leake as retaliation in the bottom of the sixth inning, but chose not to.
Fast-forward to the top of the ninth inning: Chapman is pitching to Pirates’ second baseman Neil Walker and buzzes Walker up and in on a 98 mph fastball. Walker falls to the ground as a result of jumping out of the way, and I’m screaming at my television for them to charge the mound.
But of course, Walker steps back in to the batters’ box and continues his at-bat without even saying anything to Chapman.
At some point, the Pirates are going to have to stick up for themselves, and most importantly, show the Reds that they aren’t going to lay down like they did in 2012.
If the Pirates want to hang around and compete for a playoff spot, they need to stop letting the Reds intimidate them. Quite frankly, I applaud Dusty Baker and his Reds for being the bullies because he knows he can get away with it, and he knows it intimidates the Pirates’ batters.
It’s time to act like grown men and handle this yourselves, Pirates. I’m talking specifically to Tuesday’s starting pitcher, Charlie Morton. You know what you have to do.