Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa wasn’t happy with the way his team’s season ended in the American League Division Series with a 10-1 loss to the Houston Astros.
But what he may remember most was the “bitter taste in (my) mouth and in my gut” stemming from White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning.
With Houston leading 7-1 with two outs and no one on base, Astros reliever Kendall Graveman came up and in to Abreu, hitting him on the left shoulder. La Russa came out of the dugout immediately, well aware that it was the second time in the series Abreu had been plunked.
“That’s just — there’s a character shortage there that they should answer for. It is stupid too. Anything else?” La Russa said in his postgame press conference, suggesting Graveman’s pitch was intentional. “I’ll be interested to see if they admit it. If they don’t admit it, then they’re really dishonest.”
La Russa said the umpires should have ejected Graveman earlier in the count, when several inside pitches nearly hit Abreu.
“It will be a good test of the character and credibility of the winning team because it was intentional,” he said. “I’ll be really curious. They should have the guts to admit that they did it, why they did it, I have no reason to understand. … That was intentional. I don’t understand why. I don’t understand how they got away with it.”
When asked about the incident after the game, Astros pitching coach Brent Strom said, “There was no intent. I guarantee. 100%.”
Abreu, who stands very close to the plate, was hit by pitches 22 times during the regular season, ranking him fifth in the majors.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White Sox manager Tony La Russa fumes after Astros hit Jose Abreu