Hunter Strickland-Salvador Perez confrontation attributed to ‘miscommunication’ (video)
The Kansas City Royals got the big win the team needed in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night, beating the San Francisco Giants by a score of 7-2.
After having their bats mostly silenced in a Game 1 loss thanks to a solid performance by Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, the Royals offense came alive in Game 2, and a five-run outburst in the bottom of the 6th inning put the game well in their hands … and the team’s sturdy, often dominant bullpen.
After starter Jake Peavy faltered as reawakened Royals offense, reliever Hunter Strickland was on the mound as the game quickly got out of hand for the Giants.
Strickland’s final stat line: 0.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 earned runs. And he clearly was none too pleased with his outing.
Strickland surrendered a two-run double to Salvador Perez and a two-run homer from Omar Infante followed.
As Infante and Perez circled the bases, Strickland lost his cool and began yelling. The confusion at who exactly he was yelling at became a source of confusion and ultimately led to some tense moments as Perez responded and the benches cleared.
The perception was the Strickland was barking at Perez for circling the bases slowly but the Giants reliever says that was not the case, claiming it simply was the result of a “miscommunication.”
“I didn’t notice that,” Strickland said, via MLB.com, about Perez’s leisurely stroll around the diamond. “I was more frustrated at not executing my pitches. It was miscommunication. My emotions just got the best of me. I’m not too proud of that, but it is what it is. I can’t take it back.”
The MLB.com report notes that Strickland was yelling in English and Perez responded in Spanish, so that lends some credence to the “miscommunication” angle.
Either way, Perez clearly felt Strickland’s outburst was directed at him. And some video of the incident appears to show Strickland yelling something along the lines of “Get in the dugout, boy!” at Perez.
The Royals catcher appeared shocked at his perception that the pitcher’s outburst was directed at him. He pointed at his eyes with two fingers and tapped his chest as if he was wondering why Strickland was staring him down.
“He looked at me,” Perez said after the game. “I was like, ‘Why did you look at me? Omar hit a homer. Look at Omar.'”
Perez added that he felt Strickland started giving him dirty looks after his hit.
“After I hit the double, he started looking at me on second base,” Perez said. “I just wanted to, you know, forget about that. We’re winning the game in that moment, you know?”
Following Infante’s two-run round-tripper, Perez insists that Strickland began jawing at him as he crossed the plate.
He was telling me, ‘Get out of here,’ whatever,” Perez said. “I don’t know. You don’t have to treat me like that.”
Strickland’s comments after the game — even if given the video evidence appear to be somewhat disingenuous — likely will have a relative calming effect on any possible residual tensions between the teams heading into Game 3. Both squads are well-managed and go about their business in a professional, businesslike manner, so it’s unlikely any ill will or bad blood will fester and have any carryover as the teams head to San Francisco with the Series tied at one game apiece.