By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Manny Machado is no doubt a great baseball player, but he’s not the best & brightest in the “controlling your emotions on the field” department. He has a well-documented temper problem. While he is capable of channeling that fire into his MVP-caliber hitting and fielding, he can also lose it for no reason, as he did against Rick Porcello and the Red Sox Monday night at Camden Yards.
With the Red Sox up 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Porcello came too far inside to Machado and plunked the All-Star third baseman in the left arm. Machado apparently thought the HBP was intentional, as he started jawing as he sauntered down to first base toward Porcello, who appears to mouth “I’m not [expletive] trying to hit you, bro.”
It’s understandable that Machado wouldn’t like getting hit, because who does? But Porcello had no reason whatsoever to intentionally put Machado on first base with Mark Trumbo and his 43 home runs on deck. Trumbo launched a ball out of Fenway Park and into orbit off Porcello last time he faced him, so Porcello wasn’t going to give him a free base runner. Also, speaking of base runners, Porcello had not allowed one to that point.
Porcello seemed OK with the whole interaction when asked about it after the game. He knows full well how intense things can get at this point of the season and he knows he had no reason to intentionally hit Machado, who struck out in his next two at-bats against him after the incident.
“It’s September baseball. Obviously, emotions are running high. Nobody wants to get hit by a pitch, that’s why I completely understand,” Porcello told reporters when asked about Machado’s reaction. “I wouldn’t like it if I was up there and I got hit. At the same time, there’s absolutely no reason why I would hit him right there, especially with Mark Trumbo standing on deck. I mean, he’s hitting missiles all over the ballpark off me. So I don’t want to face him in a 2-0 game, especially when I got a perfect game going.”
Machado might not know who he’s dealing with in Porcello, who picked up his 21st win in the complete game effort. Obviously, he’s never asked Kevin Youkilis what happens when you go at Pretty Ricky. …
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.