Even though he was pitching his best game in over a month, Mark Buehrle wasn't able to get through the 6th inning for the first time in his last 50 starts. Buehrle beaned B.J. Surhoff with 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th inning with a fastball in retaliation for A.J. Pierzynski (earlier in the inning) and Tadahito Iguchi (earlier in the series) getting beaned. Home plate umpire Brian Gorman tossed Buehrle from the game immediately.
There's no doubt in my mind as to Buehrle's intention on the pitch to Surhoff, and it's obvious there wasn't any in Gorman's either. I do, however, have a problem with how the situation was handled. To me, it sure looked like both Iguchi and Pierzynski were hit intentionally. Iguchi even had to be taken out of the game yesterday, and didn't play at all today. If you're not going to issue a warning after either of those beanings, your are practically inviting Buehrle to retaliate.
That's just the way baseball is. It's self policing. Gorman didn't do his job protecting the Sox hitters, so Buehrle took matters into his own hand. Had the home plate umpires issued a warning after either of the HBPs, Buehrle probably wouldn't have thrown at Surhoff. But since Gorman just sat and watched Pierzynski take one high and tight from the flame throwing Daniel Cabrera, he forced Buehrle's hand.
Everything would have been Kosher if Gorman had just let Surhoff walk to first base. He could have issued warnings to both sides, and the beanings would have been over.
I'm sure Mark will deny he was trying to throw at anyone, because that's the company line. Ozzie even said a few days ago that he doesn't throw at guys, he just wants to win games. I haven't heard or read any response from Mark largely because some guy on the Orioles took something illegal.
Update [2005-8-2 0:30:44 by The Cheat]:
I guess I just didn't look hard enough. Buehrle's reaction, from MLB.com
"Obviously, you guys were out there and you've seen the game. People who know baseball know what happened. I can't comment on that, but I was surprised I got tossed."
That's classic Buehrle. He's honest with the media to a fault. He probably even said a little bit too much there.
I know it seems like a small thing, but this is just another example of why this team keeps on winning. Last year, we were complaining about pitchers not protecting their teammates, Loaiza and Thriller specifically. This team sticks together. They seem to put the team first before thinking about their individual stats and paychecks. They just play the game the right way. You don't see that anymore, and that's sad.
Did somebody tell the Twins that they were in the NL West? They sure have been playing like it. The wheels finally came off this week in a big way.
Stick a fork in 'em. They're done.