photo credit: J.Meric/Getty Images
Rick Porcello gets a new ball from umpire Vic Carapazza after hitting Ben Zobrist in the first inning Sunday. Porcello was suspended six games by the league Tuesday for the incident.
by Steve Carney
Despite his claim to the contrary, the powers that be have determined that Rick Porcello did indeed intentionally throw at Ben Zobrist Sunday, and for that, he'll be spending some time away from the game.
Major League Baseball Tuesday suspended the Detroit right-hander six games, and fined him an undisclosed amount for his pitch in the first inning of Sunday's finale that hit Zobrist on the wrist, which was close to his head after turning away from the pitch.
The incident was the culmination of events that began Saturday night when Miguel Cabrera and Fernando Rodney appeared to go at it verbally after a pair of the Rays closers' pitches went first high and away, then high and inside. Rodney did not hit Cabrera in the tenth inning at-bat.
After Saturday's game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, "There's a price to pay for [throwing up and inside]," though he admitted that Rodney's pitches were not intentional.
Porcello claimed that the pitch to Zobrist was a fastball that just got away, but he had hit just one batter in 80.1 innings this season prior to Sunday's game.
Porcello said he will appeal the suspension.