Both Atlanta manager Brian Snitker and Miami manager Don Mattingly took exception to Marlins pitcher Jose Urena drilling Braves rookie slugger Ronald Acuna Jr. with the first pitch Wednesday night.
Keith Hernandez disagrees.
Acuna had led off the previous three games, all against the Marlins, with home runs, and he had homered in five consecutive games. That was enough for Hernandez, on a New York Mets broadcast Monday night, to advocate drilling the 20-year-old phenom with a pitch.
"They're killing you," Hernandez said to broadcast partner Wayne Randazzo. "You lost three games. He's hit three home runs. You got to hit him.
"I'm sorry, people aren't going to like that. You know, you got to hit him, knock him down. I mean, seriously knock him down if you don't hit him. You never throw at anybody's head or neck. You hit him in the back. You hit him in the fanny."
Hernandez's comments elicited plenty of reaction on Twitter.
Braves pitcher Peter Moylan replied, "This is just next level bull---!!!! The kid is playing the game with joy and needs to be hurt for being great. You are a clown @keithhernandez"
Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones weighed in: "So by this way of thinking, Jacob deGrom should get drilled cuz he's the hottest pitcher on the planet? NO! I enjoy watching him pitch and I enjoy watching RAJ play the game. I'm old school just like this broadcaster, but these comments are waaay off base!"
ESPN analyst Buster Olney wrote of Hernandez, "He played in an era when a struggling pitcher was expected to shake things up by drilling a batter, or when a hot hitter might get thrown at just because he was hot. I hope the sport has evolved forward from that, as it has with the use of helmets/etc. Just absurd."
--Field Level Media