Roy Halladay drilled the Boston Red Sox’ designated hitter with the first pitch of the second inning Wednesday night in Fenway Park. Just the way he was supposed to.
Earlier Wednesday, in the leadoff post of Pros and Cons, it said here that Halladay was due to return the favour of Tuesday night, when Jonathan Papelbon hit Adam Lind on the elbow with a no-doubts fastball in the ninth inning after Lind had smacked three home runs to power the Jays’ eventual 8-7 win. (Lind missed Wednesday night’s game with elbow soreness, which is easily understandable.)
Circumstances prevented the Jays from retaliating right away. You don’t hit batters on purpose with a one-run lead. So it was up to Halladay, one day later, to stand up for his team and his teammates and, once again, he didn’t let them down. It might not sound like a big deal, but it surely is appreciated throughout the clubhouse and by manager Cito Gaston.
Ortiz was the only candidate for a bruising, really. Like Lind, he is a designated hitter. He also was pretty much the only regular in the lineup. Manager Terry Francona gave most of the front-liners the evening off, Boston having clinched its post-season berth late Tuesday when Texas lost.
Halladay didn’t throw at Ortiz’s head. He threw at the same height that Papelbon hit Lind – and that’s a pretty good definition of control, too.
The umpires, who didn’t have it in them to react in any way to the first plunking Tuesday, figured it out and warned both teams after Halladay acted. But perhaps there was no need to. The score was as settled as these things tend to be. Besides, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and his 64-mile-an-hour floater was the opposing starter and nobody tries to hit anybody with a knuckleball.