Wow, running the bases is dangerous.
At plate, pitchers from AL in peril in interleague games
By Paul White, USA TODAY
PHILADELPHIA — For the second season in a row, a key pitcher for an American League contender has been injured after batting in an interleague game at a National League stadium. And Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston isn't taking any more chances after losing his closer Scott Downs.
"I'm just talking about getting out of the way of the ball," Gaston said after Downs sprained a toe while running to first base after batting Tuesday and ended up on the disabled list.
So the next night, Toronto starter Scott Richmond followed Gaston's orders and took all nine pitches he saw in his first two at-bats and struck out both times. Even when allowed to swing the next time, then bunt two innings later, he kept striking out. "He told me no swinging," Richmond said. "I stood there and hoped (Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer) walked me."
Gaston had spoken strongly against his pitchers batting in games in NL parks even before the injury to Downs, who hadn't batted since 2004. Gaston now has gone beyond recommending his pitchers not swing.
"In interleague play," Gaston says, "use the DH. Otherwise, forget it."
He isn't the only one.
Last year, New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said, "I think it's time the National League joined the 21st century," after losing starter Chien-Ming Wang for the final 3˝ months of the season when he tore a foot tendon running the bases against the Houston Astros. Wang was 8-2 at the time. He has returned this season but is 0-5 with a 12.65 ERA.
"Don't give me that traditionalist crap," Steinbrenner said.