BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is officially back on after the two teams came to blows on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
And Pedro Martinez, who had a tussle or two of his own against the Yankees during his time with the Red Sox, loves it.
Pedro took to Twitter to applaud Boston reliever Joe Kelly for plunking Yankees’ DH Tyler Austin in the top of the seventh on Wednesday night. The benches cleared and punches were thrown after Kelly hit Austin in the ribs with a 98 MPH fastball, leading to four ejections (including Kelly and Austin).
Martinez’s only critique was that the beanball should have come sooner.
All of this stemmed from Austin sliding into second with his spikes up in the top of the third, which Boston shortstop Brock Holt didn’t appreciate. Holt share his thoughts with Austin and the benches cleared, but nothing much was made of it. At least until the seventh.
Kelly drilled Austin, who charged the mound ready to take off Kelly’s head. Instead, the reliever landed a couple of punches, and when Austin threw a punch at Kelly, it instead connected with Boston third base coach Carlos Febles. The pig pile was pushed across the diamond, and Kelly emerged with scratch marks on his neck, which he was sporting in the locker room after the game.
The Boston reliever said he wasn’t trying to plunk Austin, adding that he doesn’t have the greatest control (a truthful statement). But when Austin charged the mound, Kelly was ready for the tussle that ensued.
“I was ready to defend myself,” he said. “Someone comes on my property and in my backyard — I’ve got two dogs and if you come on my property and I feel like I was getting attacked then I’m going to have to defend myself.”
We’ll see if Wednesday night’s drama spills over into the series finale on Thursday night. Boston catcher Christian Vazquez isn’t sure if we’ll see more fireworks at Fenway Park, but believes it will come at some point when the rivals meet again this season — potentially next month when the Red Sox visit the Bronx.
“You know that’s coming. You know that’s coming,” Vazquez told reporters. “They feel like us. The clubhouse is our second home. It’s wanting to protect our home. So it will be something soon. If not this series maybe in New York.”
No matter when it comes, the hatred is back between these two clubs.