As far as purpose pitches go, Houston Astros starter Mike Fiers made this plenty obvious. An angry Fiers threw a pitch above the head of Luis Valbuena of the Los Angeles Angels after he homered and flipped his bat during Wednesday’s game.
Less than 24 hours later, Major League Baseball has hit Fiers with a five-game suspension. Here is MLB’s announcement on the punishment, which also includes a fine:
Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers has received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch in the area of the head of Luis Valbuena of the Los Angeles Angels in the bottom of the fourth inning of Wednesday evening’s game at Angel Stadium. Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.
Fiers has elected not to appeal the discipline. Thus, his suspension is scheduled to begin tonight, when the two Clubs are to conclude their series in Anaheim.
Astros fans will remember that Valbuena and Fiers were teammates in Houston for two seasons before Valbuena signed a free-agent deal with the Angels this past winter. But they’re obviously not friendly enough that a bat flip gets a pass. The beef was cooked Wednesday when Valbuena homered off Fiers in the Angels’ five-run first inning and finished it off with a bat flip.
After the game, Fiers told reporters, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that he “took it as disrespect.”
Fiers threw at Valbuena in the fourth, but Valbuena ended up doubling in that at-bat. It was that kind of night for Fiers, who gave up eight runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings as the Angels beat the Astros 9-1. Maybe five days off aren’t the worst thing in the world for Fiers and his 5.22 ERA.
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