Benches cleared twice in Kansas City on Saturday, with Jonathan Sanchez hitting Shin-Soo Choo, and Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez leading off the next half-inning by drilling Mike Moustakas in the lower back. There was the requisite pushing and shoving and tough talking, and the Indians won in extra innings, and Bruce Chen was unharmed so everyone moved on with their lives.
Yesterday, MLB suspended Jeanmar Gomez for five games, calling his Moustakas plunk intentional (it was). But here's the thing with starting pitchers. Sure, they usually pitch every five games. But sometimes they don't! Sometimes they start six games apart, rendering the suspension utterly pointless! Manager Manny Acta just comes out and says how Cleveland will get around this one:
"We respect the league's decisions, and we'll make the proper adjustments. Gomez is going to appeal and he will pitch on Saturday against Oakland. Then probably, after that, he'll drop [his appeal] and pitch again the very next Saturday."
Brass balls, to blatantly admit how every team has dealt with a suspended starter from the beginning of time (or the CBA-mandated appeal process). Because of an off-day Monday, Justin Masterson, who starts Sunday, will be able to start next Friday on his regular schedule. Gomez slots back in on Saturday with an extra day of rest, and he and the team aren't punished at all.
Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but wouldn't a nine-game suspension be the way to make sure a pitcher misses a start and his team is forced to send an inferior player to the mound for a game? But far be it from me to criticize the dispensers of justice at MLB—missing no trick, they fined Indians closer Chris Perez for a Tweet that read "You hit us, we hit you. Period." That'll learn 'im.