It’s entirely possible that Luke Putkonen just lost grip of his pitch, leading it to sail behind Alexei Ramirez at the plate, but probably not.
Whatever the motive may be, though, Ramirez was none too pleased with the pitch delivered during the sixth inning of the Tigers-White Sox game at Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon. The White Sox shortstop made a few steps toward Putkonen on the mound and was restrained as benches from both sides cleared, adding another chapter to the rivalry between the two teams.
Putkonen’s pitch was likely in retaliation to what he saw an inning earlier, when White Sox starter Chris Sale threw a pitch up and in that nearly plunked Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder. No warnings were issued, and home plate umpire Chad Fairchild was quick to eject Putkonen after Fairchild deemed he intentionally threw behind Ramirez. That likely struck a chord with Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who was also ejected after not one, but two lengthy arguments with the umpiring crew.
Check out all the madness in the video below.