Gonzalez tossed (updated)
Orioles reliever Michael Gonzalez was ejected in the top of the 15th inning Wednesday night after hitting Yankees outfielder Chris Dickerson in the head and causing him to exit the game, which New York went on to win 4-1.
“No way, shape or form was I trying to hit Dickerson or anything like that,” said Gonzalez, who stood on the mound in a state of shock as Dickerson crumpled to the ground. “I was trying to throw a fastball down and away. It got away from me and I’m sorry it hit him.”
Dickerson —who shattered his helmet — did walk to first base after being examined by the team’s medical staff but was removed in favor of pinch-runner A.J. Burnett almost immediately after he got there. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the team is erring on the side of caution with Dickerson, who was taken to the University of Maryland’s hospital to get a CT scan.
“He was lucid and knew where he was at, but he had a lump on the side of his head,” Girardi said, adding that Dickerson never lost consciousness and will probably be diagnosed with a concussion. “You’ve got to do everything precautionary now.”
If it is ruled to be a concussion, Dickerson, who just recalled from Triple-A prior to Tuesday’s game, could be placed on the 7-day disabled list. Asked if he felt Gonzalez’s pitch was intentional, Girardi said he wasn’t going to get into that.
“It’s just a scary part of the game when a guy gets hit there,” he said.
The ejection capped an-already ugly inning for Gonzalez, who allowed a go-ahead two-RBI triple to Robinson Cano with his first pitch of the game. His 1-1 offering caught the side of
Dickerson’s head –shattering the helmet’s bill — and Gonzalez was ejected immediately by home plate umpire Dan Bellino. The final member of the Orioles exhausted bullpen, Gonzalez remained on the field while manager Buck Showalter came out to talk to the umpiring crew, which had assembled near the first base line.
“It was tough for me,” Showalter said of keeping his cool when he went out to talk with
Bellino and the rest of the umpires. “First of all, you take a deep breath. Regardless of what decision that umpire makes, a young umpire just starting out in the Major Leagues, you’ve got a guy laying on the ground and you don’t know how seriously he’s hurt, and I have a lot of concerns for that. I’m not going to go out there and vehemently argue while a guy’s laying on the ground, potentially a real tough situation physically.”
Like Gonzalez, Showalter was confident it wasn’t a purpose pitch, but he understood why the call was made to toss the lefty from the game.
“I wouldn’t have done it, but I’m biased,” Showalter said. “I wouldn’t have ejected him, but I can understand how someone… My first thoughts weren’t on Gonzo being ejected, but the health of Dickerson.”
“It was kind of shocking,” Gonzalez said of watching a stricken Dickerson fall to the ground.
I hit him and obviously I get thrown out, and I was more worried about how he was doing down there. You see a player go down like that and obviously in his head area, I really wasn’t sure that [Bellino]threw me out or not.
First of all, I didn’t understand why and second of all, Dickerson is down there on the ground and that’s the last thing you want to see.”
It was Gonzalez’s first career ejection a dismal outing in which he failed to record a out –throwing just four pitches – and was charged with a run to raise his era to a 8.53.