Girardi: Pitch got away, my foot

April, 10, 2013
CLEVELAND -- On the very first pitch after Robinson Cano had hit a two-run home run to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead, Carlos Carrasco hit Kevin Youkilis on the left shoulder.

Off came home plate umpire Jordan Baker's mask and up went his thumb. No discussion, no warning, no nothing. Carrasco was out of there.

And to Joe Girardi, there was no question that was the right call.

Was he surprised by the quick thumb? "No, I was not," he said. "I mean, it was right in the middle of his back right after a home run. No one ever knows if a guy truly did it on purpose, but ..."

Girardi pointed out that Carrasco had started the season serving a six-game suspension for a similar incident in 2011 (he missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery).

"I mean, if it was on purpose, it’s not a good idea," Girardi said. "And if it wasn't, it looks like it was. Either way, it doesn’t look good."

Carrasco said something to the effect that the pitch slipped and that there was no intent to hit Youkilis.

Youkilis wasn't as sure as his manager, but certainly expressed a healthy skepticism. "It doesn’t look good in a lot of ways after a home run’s given up and a ball’s thrown at your head," he said. "Luckily I just ducked down and it hit me in the shoulder. Things like that happen. You never know intent, and it’s always on the pitcher. You have to ask them. But no, you’re not surprised when seven runs are given up."

The one Yankee who seemed not to have an opinion on the matter was Cano, whose home run set the whole incident off. "I didn't see it," he said. "I was in the bathroom."
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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