The Houston Astros quality control coach gave the umpiring crew a piece of his mind
The Houston Astros were feeling mighty great about themselves on Friday, as they entered their weekend series against the San Diego Padres on an eight-game winning streak. But just like their Texas counterparts in the Rangers, the Astros found out that the “Slam” Diego Padres are not a fun team to face off against. San Diego won the series-opener on Friday evening in extra innings, but they really imposed their will on Saturday, as they pummeled the Astros 13-2.
Houston’s quality control coach, Chris Speier wasn’t too fond of the MLB umpiring crew on Saturday, because he complained to them a full 10 minutes after the game.
Astros’ displeasure stems from second inning drama
Houston called upon rookie Brandon Bielak to start the Saturday contest, due to the multitude of injuries to their starting rotation. Bielak proceeded to be punished by San Diego’s bats, as he surrendered seven earned runs on five hits (four of which were home runs) in 1.1 innings of work.
After allowing a three-run homer to Padres outfielder Trent Grisham in the second, Bielak hit shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. in the hip with a pitch. Bielak said it wasn’t intentional, but the umpiring crew convened and issued a warning to both benches. Astros catcher Martin Maldonado was ejected from the game after home plate umpire Nestor Ceja caught wind of his comments. Manager Dusty Baker tried to convince Ceja to reconsider, but to no avail.
Baker said after the game that Bielak had no intention of plunking Tatis, and even Padres skipper Jayce Tingler expressed his belief that the hit by pitch was accidental because it was a changeup. That explains why Speier was talking with the officiating crew immediately after the game ended.
Speier and the Astros have no ill-will towards the Padres, so don’t expect any plunkings in their series-finale on Sunday. Houston’s only beef is with the umpires.