Dusty Baker explains ejection after Astros-Rangers brawl: ‘I haven’t been that mad in a long time’

There was plenty to go around in Game 5 between the Rangers and Astros.

Three were ejected after a brawl in the bottom of the eighth – Rangers’ Adolis Garcia and Astros’ Bryan Abreu and Astros manager Dusty Baker.

The fight happened after Garcia was hit by a pitch from Abreu. He immediately turned and yelled at catcher Martin Maldonado, as he believed the hit was intentional. In the sixth inning, Garcia hit a go-ahead three-run homer on the first pitch. His next at-bat, he was hit. On the very first pitch, no less. Regardless, it was a clear ejection.

After a discussion between the umpires, Abreu was thrown out, too, for what was determined a purposeful hit-by-pitch, which is grounds for an automatic ejection. Baker was up in arms about this decision, not understanding how it was ruled intentional. The Rangers were leading 4-2, at this point, with one runner on base and no one out.

MORE: Why were Bryan Abreu, Adolis Garcia ejected?

Baker later said the ejection didn’t make any sense to him as there was no way to prove it was an intentional hit. Garcia hit a run off a ball that was down in the zone. Why wouldn’t Abreu and the Astros go up and in to a spot Garcia already struggles with?

Of course some pitches are going to stray, Baker said, “any time you’re throwing a projectile 97 mph, some of them are going to get away. I don’t care if you’re big league, Hall of Fame.” 

“How do you prove intent? That’s what I don’t understand,” Baker continued. “And I haven’t been that mad in a long time. I don’t usually get mad about nothing.”

It was an 11-minute delay, but it didn’t affect the Astros; they went on to win the game in the top of the ninth.

Jose Altuve sent one left for a three-run score to put Houston back ahead 5-4. The Rangers couldn’t find an answer at the bottom of the inning, falling behind in the series 3-2.

Did the scuffle cause an awakening for the home team?

“I don’t know. I wasn’t seeing nothing. I was just seeing red,” Baker said. “I hope it did. And if that’s what it takes sometimes, I guess you’ve got to do it.”

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