Detroit — Asked how many of the hit batters or close calls in Thursday’s Tigers-Yankees game were intentional, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had an interesting answer.
Especially since benches emptied three times.
“Probably not most of it,” Ausmus said, “quite frankly.”
Michael Fulmer swore his pitch wasn’t intentional. Dellin Betances clearly believed his wasn’t. David Robertson’s probably wasn’t, judging by his pained expression.
As for Alex Wilson? Well ...
“It was pretty obvious,” Wilson said after the Tigers’ 10-6 victory, which took more than 4 hours — and featured eight ejections, tied for most in a game since 2002.
“You’ve gotta take care of your teammates sometimes. At some point, you’ve gotta make a stand for yourself.”
After James McCann was hit in the helmet in the seventh inning — igniting the second benches-clearing incident of the game — Wilson hit the second batter of the eighth inning, Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier.
As Frazier had some choice words, Wilson just seemed to shrug.
He was immediately ejected, and felt no remorse.
“(Frazier) basically said, ‘You did it on purpose,’ and I said, ‘Hey man, no hard feelings, but you’ve gotta understand the way this game’s going,’ and he told me, basically, ‘I got you or whatever,’ and I said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘It could’ve been way worse,’ ” Wilson said, recalling his exchange before he was told to exit stage right.
“I have no hard feelings toward Todd whatsoever. It was just an unfortunate circumstance.”
Usually pitchers will deny throwing at a batter, even when it’s obvious they were throwing at a batter.
Wilson may hunt and fish and play some pretty darn good baseball, but he doesn’t play the whole coy game.
Of course, his blatant admission probably will cost him more of a fine and a longer suspension, but he doesn’t really seem to give a rip.
“I’m gonna get a penalty regardless, so it is what it is. This isn’t my first rodeo,” said Wilson, who got the win, while another ejected pitcher, Betances, got the loss. “I’ve been fined before. Unfortunately, it was a wild game today. I think the league understands what happened today and we’ll move forward with it.
“I’ve got no hurt feelings toward anyone. ... I think in a week’s time or so, we’ll all look back and it’ll be all over with.”