Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is angry after Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney threw an in-tight-and-up pitch that sent Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera to back off the plate during the at-bat.
“I don’t care about throwing inside, but I don’t like it up there,” Leyland said via MLive.com. “We will not tolerate that. You can take that to the bank. We won’t tolerate that up at the head, with anybody, not (just) Cabrera, but anybody. I’m not accusing anybody of anything, but we won’t tolerate that. If you’re going to just rare back and throw it, you can’t throw it there. If you throw it down at the legs in or something for a purpose, I don’t have any problem with that. But not upstairs.
“That’ll cause a lot of problems for people,” Leyland continued. “That’s as simple as it is. That’s not a good idea. That’s not acceptable. If you want to throw inside, I have no problem with that. The old (expletive) about the one getting away, he’s pitched long enough that they don’t get away up there in that area, in my opinion. That won’t be tolerated. You can take that to the bank. That’s not acceptable. Like I say, if you want to throw down at the legs, or you’re throwing, trying to come in there. And I’m not saying he was trying to hit him or anything, but you’re going to throw head-high in there, that’s not acceptable.”
“I don’t have any problem pitching inside,” he continued. “It was a great challenge with two — Rodney’s a very good pitcher — and a great hitter. It was a great confrontation, which Rodney won, and I don’t have any problem with anybody pitching inside, that’s none of my business, you have to do that. I agree with that 100 percent. But not up around the head. That’s not acceptable.”
Rodney said he was just throwing an inside pitch to move Cabrera “a little bit because the guy is a dangerous hitter.”
“I don’t know what he’s saying,” Rodney said. “I’m trying to do my job. You have to pitch inside sometimes. You have to pitch inside, outside, everywhere. You don’t want to hit nobody because the game is on the line.
“That’s what I got on my mind, try to move (him) a little bit because the guy is a dangerous hitter.”
Rodney threw two scoreless innings for the the win as the Rays rallied for a 4-3 victory after Yunel Escobar had an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a walk. His batting average dropped two points to .375.
“I’m very happy that I was able to help the team win,” Escobar said through an interpreter.