Teams hope to move on after Aroldis' wild pitches
Baker says issue has been addressed regarding pitch near Swisher
CINCINNATI -- A high-and-tight 100-mph fastball from Reds closer Aroldis Chapman that buzzed the head of Indians first baseman Nick Swisher created a late subplot to Monday's game.
Reds manager Dusty Baker had no intention of letting the storyline spill over into Tuesday.
"It's taken care of by me. It's not for public consumption," Baker said. "That's where it starts and that's where it ends. I've already addressed it."
Indians manager Terry Francona also hoped that both teams would move on.
"I didn't really think about it a whole lot then and didn't really today," Francona said. "I think when something like that happens, a guy throws that hard, it certainly gives you pause to think for a second. You can get killed. But you just play the game."
"Most of the times as a hitter, it happens and you move on," he added later. "You saw Swisher. It riled him up and he took it out on the ball. He just didn't get enough elevation."
In the ninth inning with one out during the Reds' 4-2 win over the Indians, Chapman threw two erratic pitches. The first one sailed inside and over umpire Paul Schrieber before hitting the backstop. Pitch No. 2 went near Swisher's head.
Swisher could be seen by television cameras telling Chapman "don't do that," as much of the Indians bench took to the top step of the visitors' dugout in a show of support for their teammate. After Swisher flied out to deep left field, Chapman could be seen saying something to Swisher. Chapman then closed out the game for his 13th save.
"The first one I saw go by, and I thought, 'Wow, that's pretty quick.' And then that second one was a little too close for comfort," Swisher said following Monday's game. "Let's be honest, 100 mph at somebody's head? That's not exactly the best thing."
Chapman was not made available for comment on Monday or before Tuesday's game. His catcher, Devin Mesoraco, believed the situation did not call for a purpose pitch. Had Swisher been hit by a pitch, next batter Carlos Santana would have represented the tying run at the plate.
"We have a two-run lead and we definitely shouldn't be throwing at anyone to get the tying run up to the plate," Mesoraco said on Tuesday. "You never want the tying run at the plate. You want to keep the bases as empty as possible."
At the same time, Mesoraco understood why Swisher and the Indians were angry at Chapman.
"No matter what the situation is, I feel like guys being upset if a ball is at their head, that's completely valid," Mesoraco said. "You never want to take that chance with all the concussions and everything that's out there today. Anything at the head, you're going to be upset. I kind of feel for Swisher there, because that's definitely something you don't want to see."
During the Indians radio broadcast, play-by-play voice Tom Hamilton also was riled by the second pitch that buzzed Swisher's head.
"What you'd love to see Swisher do here is knock it right off of the temple of Chapman and see how much fun it is to have a ball coming at your head," Hamilton said. "That is bush league."
On Tuesday, Hamilton did not want to comment on his commentary.
"I don't want to be the story here. What's said is said," Hamilton said. "I'm not going to go over it. That sure wasn't the intent."
When asked, Hamilton said he had not heard from the Commissioner's Office about his comments.
"I haven't even thought about it," Hamilton said. "It must be a slow news day here or something."
Mesoraco, who started again behind the plate for Cincinnati, wasn't worried about reprisals from Cleveland. He also felt the Reds were past Monday's incident.
"I think our focus is to go out there and win ballgames," Mesoraco said. "If you get caught up in that kind of stuff, it takes away from the actual goal at hand, which is to go out and win. Whatever happens, happens."
The Reds took an 8-2 victory from the Indians in what proved to be a mostly peaceful game on Tuesday night. There were two exceptions, however. With first base open after a Joey Votto steal in the Reds' fifth inning, Brandon Phillips was plunked in the side by a 2-0 pitch from Indians starter Zach McAllister. Phillips calmly retrieved the ball and flipped it to the home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild. However, no warnings were issued to the benches by Fairchild. Nothing also came from when Shin-Soo Choo was hit on the arm by a Scott Barnes 2-1 pitch, an 81-mph slider, in the seventh. Reds pitchers did not hit any Indians batters.
"I was trying to go in. I missed on one earlier going in there, and I kind of went a little too far in that time," McAlister said of hitting Phillips.
Reds starter Mat Latos believed it was an intentional pitch from McAllister.
"One hundred percent," Latos said. "You know what? That's retaliation. They have to stand up for their players. [Reds pitching coach Bryan] Price came to me and basically just said, 'Look, we feel like with what happened last night, they're protecting their players today.' That's what happened. It is what it is. You take it in stride. We got the 'W.' We're even. We're Switzerland I guess and we'll let it go."