This afternoon’s Yankees-Rays game in Tampa got out of hand early—it’s 11-1 right now—but the beef never sleeps. In the fifth, CC Sabathia hit Jake Bauers in the wrist. In the sixth, Andrew Kittredge threw up and behind Austin Romine, who exchanged words with catcher Jesus Sucre.
The Yankees went on to score four more runs off Kittredge that inning, so maybe you thought it was over. It was not.
Leading off the next half-inning, Sabathia hit Sucre in the leg with his very first pitch, a 92-mph fastball (about where he tops out).
Sabathia was ejected, both dugouts started chirping, but no one left the benches. Aaron Judge, in RF, did walk over to confront literally the entire Rays bullpen.
Sabathia, upon his walk off the field, had words for the Rays dugout, presumably Kittredge specifically.
There was something at stake here for Sabathia. He was two innings away from hitting an IP incentive in his contract that would have paid him $500,000. Is beaning a dude worth half a mil? Sometimes yes, apparently. Sabathia was rolling, and he would’ve gotten there, but getting tossed means he now won’t, unless he makes a relief appearance this weekend.
Also potentially in play; the Yankees haven’t set their playoff rotation yet, but there’s a decent chance (especially with the play-in game) that the HBP could be Sabathia’s very last pitch as a Yankee. After 10 seasons with New York, Sabathia has said he wants to play next year, but he knows it probably won’t be here. If this is it, it’s a memorable last pitch.