And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, live from Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, the main event of the evening. Introducing first, fighting out of the orange corner, he stands six feet, three inches tall, weighing in at 185 pounds, fighting out of Baltimore, Maryland, by way of Hialeah, Florida, Manny Machado! And now, his opponent, fighting out of the blue corner. Standing six feet tall and weighing in at 195 pounds, fighting out of Kansas City, Missouri, by way of the Dominican Republic, Yordano Ventura!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I can get to what actually went down in Baltimore. After dropping game one to the Baltimore Orioles, the Kansas City Royals looked to even the series last night with Ventura on the mound facing off against Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez. Ventura got off to a rough first inning against the Orioles offense, giving up back to back singles to Adam Jones and Hyun Soo Kim before Machado slapped a double into left field, scoring Jones. The Orioles offense jumped all over the Royals’ starter and by the end of the inning Ventura found himself in a 4-0 hole.
In the bottom of the second, Manny saw his second plate appearance. Ventura took the opportunity to throw a couple pitches inside on Machado, resulting in some words being exchanged between the two. Machado eventually flied out and the jawing continued back and forth as he retired to the dugout.
In the fifth, with the Orioles up 5-1, Ventura decided he had had enough and hurled a 99 mph fastball into the middle of Machado’s back. Machado immediately started towards the mound, removing his helmet in stride. The two met at the mound and squared up for fight night in Baltimore. Machado landed a staggering right hand on Ventura’s chin. Ventura quickly recovered and shot for a double leg takedown which took Machado to the ground.
Both benches cleared and everyone converged on Machado and Ventura, who were already in the dirt. After a short dogpile, everyone was separated and returned to their respective dugouts. Both Machado and Ventura were ejected, being replaced by Paul Janish and Chien-Ming Wang, respectively. No other players were ejected.
As the dust settled and the game resumed, the Orioles responded with back-to-back home runs from Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis, extending their lead to 8-1. The game ended with a final score of 9-1 in favor of the Orioles.
Most baseball fans know that both Machado and Ventura have a history of being “hot heads.” We all remember Machado’s bat-throwing incident in Oakland a couple of years ago (which resulted in a five-game suspension), and Ventura has been known to incite some on-field drama with his antics on the mound. Machado has now been thrown out of four games and Ventura has been tossed from three.
As far as suspensions are concerned, we’ll have to wait and see. It is reasonable to assume Machado will receive something close to what Rougned Odor received following his spat with Jose Bautista (an eight-game suspension that was reduced to seven following appeal). For Ventura, who was suspended for seven games last year following a bench clearing incident in Chicago, we may see something closer to ten games.