Friday, April 25, 2014

Astros throw at Lowrie, again

Look, I didn't see the game. I got home when the A's were up 8-1, and I wasn't really interested in spending the remainder of my evening watching it. As we said - repeatedly - last year, "Being a fan doesn't mean you have to be a martyr."

But from what I understand, George Springer was hit by a pitch. Jed Lowrie was doing Jed Lowrie Things (getting hits). Paul Clemens hit him and was ejected. Then the narrative diverges.

Clemens: There was no carryover on my end. What happened in Oakland was squashed in Oakland. Bad pitch there. It just so happened I cut a fastball. We wanted to go inside on him. The guy's been hot, swinging a good bat. He can play the game of baseball. He's made a very good living hitting the baseball. We really wanted to get in on him and let him (know) I'm not afraid to come inside. That happens sometimes, so be it.

Porter: I think the game of baseball takes care of itself. George Springer got hit tonight, and it's part of the game.

Corporan: We were just trying to throw inside. If you see me I was set inside. (Lowrie) has been killing us. What do you want me to throw? Another fastball away? When hitters are hot, you have to do something. You have to move his feet or something. Too bad it was him. So what. In this game the umpire was to quick to eject (Clemens). There was no warning.

So the Astros aren't exactly sorry that Lowrie got hit.

Lowrie: It's flat out embarrassing. There's no other way to say it from every perspective. That kind of conduct shouldn't be condoned. 

It's also pretty clear that Lowrie holds Porter responsible for the events of the last week, and would like to see some suspensions for the Astros: At the end of the day the buck stops with him so if you look at it that way, yes, he's the one that's responsible for player's conduct.

And, as you can expect, it's not going over so well. Reactions:

Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot: It's one thing to play bad baseball. The Astros have had plenty of practice at that. They've just never done it with so little class before...Hopefully, Houston's front office takes a stand after this one and tells Porter to cut it out. Even if Clemens was completely on his own here, Porter certainly could have done better with his postgame comments. His tough guy act is wearing thin.

Craig Calcaterra: Just clown shoes from the Astros...You know, my original defense of Jed Lowrie bunting with a big lead in that first game was "hey, the A's should stop trying only when the Astros say they've stopped trying." But really, I don't think that's applicable anymore because the Astros are acting like they're not even playing baseball these days.

AthleticsNation: Oh, also, Paul Clemens kind of sucks. Like, as a person. He insisted on throwing at Lowrie yet again for #buntgate, which rightfully got him thrown from the game...These past few series have made me really dislike the Astros...

Will Leitch ...It's probably time for the manager to get with the program. Because all this new school innovation that's making them so likable is being completely undone by a manager who is starting to look like a reactionary, delusional idiot.

I'm sure there will be more reaction to this as the National Writers wake up and put on their Capes of Morality. But, basically, my thought is this: Yeah, Lowrie has been killing the Astros. Yeah, there's now Beef between Clemens and Lowrie - just another example of Gulf Coast-versus-West Coast feud. Clemens and Porter should be smart enough to realize that it's not going to look like a coincidence (if it was a coincidence in the first place). So this is either: (a) An unwillingness to apologize for a bad pitch or (b) A mic-dropping "Sorry I'm not sorry," or (c) the Astros escalating a turf war with Jed Lowrie.

I'm sure this will come up again before the game today, and we'll update accordingly.