The Royals got clobbered last night against the Rays 12-1, but that’s not the only thing that made them sore after the game. All-Star catcher Salvador Perez was fuming after the game after he was plunked by Rays pitcher Chris Archer in the seventh inning.
The Rays were already up 7-0 at that point, and Perez had already singled twice against Archer, virtually the only Royals hitter who was able to do anything off Archer that night. Salvy’s second inning single nearly hit Archer, and the two jawed a bit after Perez’ hit in the fifth inning, but it did not appear to be heated. Then Perez got plunked.
Chris Archer & Salvador Perez have a discussion after Archer's kneeling Slider, then Archer's inside Fastball "slips" and hits Perez next AB pic.twitter.com/0dVv8b7ozo— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 11, 2017
On Royals radio, Denny Matthews expressed doubt that the plunking was intentional.
“I question whether that was intentional...It was a running fastball. If you want to hit a guy, you want to come in further than that and hit him in the hip, if you want a message delivered......7-0, there is no reason to hit somebody.”
Salvy, however, wasn’t buying it.
“He’s going to throw at me because I have two hits against him,” Perez said. “I think he was mad. But I don’t think that’s the right way, you know? He never throw the first pitch inside. We can see all the reports he has, he never throws inside. Just get (me) out, you know? Just try to make some pitches.”
“That’s bull(expletive),” Perez said. “That’s what I think.”
DRaysBay has a breakdown of how Archer throws on first pitch, showing he does throw inside on occasion. Archer has hit just eight batters over the last three seasons combined, although he was a bit more wild earlier in his career. Archer does have a history, throwing at Jose Bautista after a Jays pitcher hit Rays outfielder Stephen Souza with a pitch on the knuckles.
For his part, Archer denied there was any animosity.
“Honestly, there was nothing malicious there,” Archer said. “I’ve had some great interactions with him in the past. Whenever we crossed paths prior to that, we were just saying playful things to each other.”
Danny Duffy thought there was intent, backing up his teammate.
There was without question intent there, btw. If youre gonna dot somebody up, own it.— Danny Duffy (@duffkc41) May 11, 2017
Ned Yost was a bit more diplomatic
“It’s hard for me to judge intent,” Royals manager Ned Yost would say. “It’s awful strange that as good as his command was that one got away from him. Sal had hit the ball hard twice. It didn’t make any sense to me, so it’s hard to fathom.”
What did others say?
"Hopefully they talked to him. If he still believes it was on purpose you, have to do something about it" - @PerezEd on Archer hitting Perez— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) May 11, 2017
In any case, don’t be surprised if there is retaliation in this afternoon’s game, even though it is a silly and dangerous practice.
Did Chris Archer intend to hit Salvador Perez?
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