On Saturday night, justice had to be served.
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg knew, as Atlanta Braves‘ Jason Heyward rounded the bases after leading off the game with a home run, that his was job to take care of business. As Justin Upton stepped to the plate, Strasburg, let loose of a 98 mph fastball that him right on the butt.
Upton did not look at Strasburg, and simply walked to first base; over in the Braves’ dugout, Hayward was clapping. Home plate umpire Marvin Hudson warned both benches that there would be no more throwing at batters.
Justice was served, the Braves had been paid back for hitting Bryce Harper of the Nationals three times in two games. Both teams knew that the bean ball war was over. However, things began to get crazy in the second inning as Strasburg, known for his command, was all over the place, walking Jordan Schafer on four pitches that were no where near the strike zone. The Nats sent pitching coach Steve McCatty to the mound to see if Strasburg was okay, and he told his coach he was fine.
Then when it seemed that things could not get any worse for the Nationals ace, they did. He tossed three wild pitches to Andrelton Simmons, the last two behind his back, allowing Schafer to score from first. After the third pitch sailed behind Simmons, home plate umpire Hudson tossed both Strasburg and manager Davey Johnson for throwing at a Braves batter.
There was not a fight, and neither dugout made any move toward the field in large part because Strasburg had not yet thrown a strike in the inning. Johnson was concerned about the health of his star pitcher and at least for the moment, he did not seemed too concerned about getting tossed.
Both Strasburg and Johnson are awaiting to find out their fate as MLB looks to resolve the matter.
At the very least, both men could be fined $200.00, but fines for attempting to hit a batter have been very stern in the past. There is no way that Strasburg should be suspended for what happened in the second inning of the game. He was wild, and that is it.