NEW YORK — David Ortiz had gone 696 plate appearances and 160 games without being hit by a pitch by the Yankees until tonight when CC Sabathia drilled him in the fourth inning.
That fact had been widely publicized in New York and by ESPN before the game. That angered the Red Sox slugger.
“I just want to thank [the media]. Not all of you, but some of you, for the stat today about be not being hit,” he said. “I finally got hit. I hope you [expletive] are happy.”
Ortiz didn’t seem upset when he was hit. He even looked into the Yankees dugout and smiled on his way to first as the crowd wildly cheered. But then he exacted his own revenge.
Ortiz started the seven-run rally in the seventh inning with a single and ripped a two-run double later in the inning that drove a stake into the Yankees.
Ortiz made what looked like a clawing motion after the double, something we haven’t seen before. It was either a homage to the Texas Rangers last season or perhaps a copy of the Jose Reyes “spotlight on me” gesture.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was offended when Ortiz flipped his bat after a home run on Tuesday, wasn’t upset this time.
“All along, I’ve said I respect David Ortiz and what he’s done for the game. I was shocked what he did when he hit the home run. When you say things like that here, it’s going to kind of take on a life of its own when you’re playing Boston. He’s somewhat of an emotional guy, and he got a big hit,” Girardi said.
As for hitting Ortiz, Sabathia went with the standard, “the ball got away from me” line.
Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt warned both benches. Earlier in the game, Josh Beckett had hit Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. But Sabathia had obvious intent.
Beckett was unruffled by the warning.
“Hunter and I had that talk,” he said. “He told me he wasn’t going to take the inside part of the plate away from either one of us. It is what it is. I thought they handled it well. I’m still trying to figure out if David got hit for something I did or if it was something ESPN stirred up.”
Ortiz drove in six runs and had three extra-base hits in the three-game sweep. He has driven in nine runs in nine games against the Yankees this season as the Red Sox have gone 8-1.
But the Yankees did hit him. They have that going for them.