Major League Baseball has suspended Los Angeles Angels reliever Noe Ramirez for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for throwing a pitch Tuesday near the head of Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick.
Angels manager Brad Ausmus was hit with a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine Wednesday stemming from the sixth-inning incident, in which Ramirez drilled Marisnick between the shoulder blades with a 1-1 pitch.
Players nearly came to blows moments later, and after the game Astros manager A.J. Hinch vaguely hinted at the possibility of retaliation if Ramirez weren’t punished by the league.
Ausmus will serve his suspension Wednesday night, when the Astros again play in Anaheim.
Ramirez has appealed.
The Astros had been expecting the Angels to retaliate against Marisnick in his first game against Los Angeles since his violent home plate collision with catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
So though the pitch that hit Marisnick in the back in the sixth inning was no surprise, it still left Hinch and his Astros profoundly steamed — even after Ramirez insisted he hadn’t done it on purpose.
“Wasn’t everybody expecting something to happen to Jake tonight?” Hinch asked. “I mean, the entire industry was probably expecting it. Our guy got suspended for an unintentional act, and they got a free shot. I feel bad for players nowadays. There’s a lot of gray area in what to do.”
Marisnick ran over Lucroy while trying to score in Houston nine days ago, leaving Lucroy with a concussion and a broken nose. He is out for at least three more weeks.
Marisnick is currently appealing his two-game suspension for the collision.
Shortly after Ramirez hit Marisnick — leading to both sides being warned — a verbal confrontation broke out between Albert Pujols and several Astros in the dugout, including Lance McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander. Both benches and bullpens partially emptied, but there was no serious physical contact.
Marisnick noticeably tried to calm his teammates during the fracas, and he attempted to shrug off the heavy boos that greeted his every move at Angel Stadium.
“It’s not what I want,” said Marisnick, who had two hits in the Astros’ 7-2 loss. “It was an unfortunate play back in Houston. I feel terrible about it. To come here and have something like this go down, it [stinks].
“It was a little high, a little inside. There’s unwritten rules in baseball, and I think as players we respect them. I think that’s a question for him, if it was intentional or not. I’m not the one throwing the baseball.”
Ramirez, one of the Angels’ most effective relievers, repeatedly insisted the whole thing was a misunderstanding.
“I was just trying to sneak a fastball by him,” he said. “I threw two sliders away. I think the scouting report on me is I might sneak a fastball in there after a couple off-speed pitches. I tried to sneak one by him in, and it just got away from me.
“They’re a good team, so I wasn’t trying to give them any sort of chance. They get a baserunner on, they’re a pretty good team. They get a rally going pretty good. That’s the last thing I was trying to do.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.