The Astros played the Angels in Los Angeles last night, marking the first time Houston outfielder Jake Marisnick had to face Angels fans since knocking out Jonathan Lucroy with a brutal home-plate collision. He did not receive a warm reception.
Marisnick, who was suspended for two games by MLB, was booed every time he came to the plate. According to Astros manager A.J. Hinch, he was also heckled throughout the game by fans behind the away dugout. “The fans were brutal over the dugout. He was certainly the villain tonight,” Hinch said.
Finally, in the sixth inning, Marisnick received the plunking everyone knew was coming:
Marisnick accepted the fastball to the shoulder and trotted to first base without protest, and it for a moment it seemed like the whole thing was over and done with. But then Albert Pujols and some players in the Astros’ dugout started yapping at each other, and it looked like a brawl was in the works, until Marisnick himself urged his teammates to stand down.
After the game, Hinch indicated that the Astros weren’t so much upset at Marisnick getting hit, but at the fact that the ball was thrown up near his head rather than his lower half. That’s fair enough, but given that Lucroy was concussed and had to have surgery to fix a broken nose, the Astros aren’t likely to receive much sympathy.
That’s something Marisnick seemed to understand when he told his teammates to be quiet and get back in the dugout. He apologized to both Lucroy and Angels fans and will serve his suspension once the appeals process is over, and last night he looked like a guy who wants to accept responsibility for what he did and move on. Here’s hoping both teams can do the same, and that Lucroy will be okay.
Correction: This post originally stated that Marisnick had already served his two-game suspension. He has yet to serve it because it is still being appealed.