By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox and Dodgers almost made it through the entire World Series without experiencing a Manny Machado incident.

Almost.

The peaceful streak appeared to come to an end on Saturday night in Game 4 of the series, when Machado grounded out to third base for the second out of the ninth inning. Rafael Devers made a strong throw across the diamond to beat Machado by a full step. Yet as Machado came across the first base bag, his left foot came down directly on the heel of Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce.

Whether or not it was intentional immediately became a debate, but for his part, Pearce didn’t even acknowledge the contact.

That didn’t stop the internet from reacting — with force.

If the incident involved a different player, perhaps it wouldn’t have even been mentioned. But considering Machado is coming off an NLCS during which he performed a couple of questionable slides and also kicked the leg of first baseman Jesus Aguilar …

… and considering Machado has his own history with spiking Red Sox fielders …

… this moment obviously generated quite a bit of attention.

For what it’s worth, though, Machado and Pearce — who played together in Baltimore — are apparently very friendly.

In this case, the spiking — intentional or unintentional — won’t become a major story. But it likely won’t be forgotten as Machado continues to add such incidents to his history.

Machado, who’s set to become a free agent this winter, has gone 4-for-18 (.222) with no extra-base hits during this World Series.

Editor’s Note: Though this story properly referenced Steve Pearce, the headline to this story originally referenced Mitch Moreland. Though Mitch Moreland plays first base for the Red Sox, he was not involved in this play.

Comments (5)
  1. Kevin Miller says:

    Absolutely deliberate. He had the whole bag to step on but deliberately went for the inside and turned his foot to make contact. I hope he breaks an ankle with one of his stunts.

  2. The article title says “Mitch Moreland” but the article text and video show it’s Steve Pearce who was spiked.

  3. Steve Lowe says:

    it is curious that Machado seems to get a pass from some people because he spikes those “who are his friends”. He may have ended Pedroia’s career with spikes to the knee. anyone who ever played baseball knows that stepping on a first baseman’s achilles is the dirtiest play in the game. after machado injures a Brewers 1st baseman Joe Torre says that MLB will “investigate”. NOTHING!!. After Machado stomps Pearce, NOTHING!! so if baseball is content to let the players play it out, 2019 will see at least one major brawl ignited by a machado dirty play. quite possibly someone will be seriously injured, certainly some players will be suspended because Torre and mlb left it up to players to fix machado’s sorry arse.

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