Was that payback?
It’s no secret that Jesse Litsch is a control pitcher. He stays around the strike zone, and rarely strays too far off the plate with a pitch. So, it raised a few eyebrows when the rookie’s first pitch to Alex Rodriguez in the second inning on Monday went behind New York’s third baseman.
Could it be possible then that the errant offering was some sort of delayed — by more than two months — retaliation for the much-debated shout by A-Rod at the Rogers Centre on May 30? Litsch said that wasn’t the case, and it would seem a little farfetched that a Toronto pitcher would wait so long if they were going to issue some sort of payback.
"It was just a two-seamer that got away from me, basically," Litsch said. "I tried to go in on him all game. He got a base hit up the middle on an inside pitch also. I’m not going to give away the inside. Yeah, what happened, happened, but I go inside a lot."
For those of you who are out of the loop, A-Rod shouted as he ran behind former Jays infielder Howie Clark at third base on May 30. The yell confused Clark, who thought shortstop John McDonald was calling him off. The ball dropped to the turf and the Yankees four runs in the ninth and won the game, 10-5.
Considering Toronto played New York in the Bronx in July and nothing happened between the clubs, Yankees manager Joe Torre didn’t think much of Litsch’s pitch on Monday. It also wasn’t a big deal for the home-plate umpire, who didn’t warn anyone after the pitch sailed behind A-Rod’s legs.
"They played us four games at our place," Torre said. "Unless they didn’t care about doing it there and they did it here, that doesn’t make sense. It’s always surprising when you see somebody throw behind somebody, but obviously the umpire didn’t think anything of it, because nobody warned anybody."
I know some of you fans were probably wondering about the play. I say we put this thing to bed.