Toronto Blue Jays reliever Yimi Garcia says he had “no intention” of hitting Josh Donaldson with a pitch on Tuesday night, despite the umpires believing he meant to plunk the New York Yankees infielder.
“That situation you don’t want to hit anybody. It’s a 3-3 game. Obviously I wasn’t trying to hit him,” Garcia said through a translator before Wednesday’s game between the teams.
The umps ejected Garcia and pitching coach Pete Walker after Donaldson was hit in the sixth inning. It came on the second pitch of the at-bat, immediately after a three-run homer by the Yankees tied the game. New York went on to win 6-5.
Crew chief Alfonso Marquez told a pool reporter he ejected Garcia because he believed the plunking was intentional due to an earlier discussion between Donaldson and Blue Jays catcher Tyler Heineman.
“To be honest with you guys, all I was trying to do was make a good pitch inside. I hit him. All the discussion, everything that happened afterward, I just have no idea. There was no intention whatsoever. The game dictates everything,” Garcia said.
Typically, a manager is suspended for a game after a pitcher is deemed to hit a batter intentionally, but Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports MLB continues to investigate the incident, allowing Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo to be in the dugout Wednesday.
Montoyo was ejected later in Tuesday’s game for arguing after Yankees reliever Jonathan Loáisiga was not thrown out for hitting Bo Bichette.
Meanwhile, Garcia joined a growing list of players complaining about the new baseballs being used this year.
“Last night was one of the worst nights of my playing career regarding the baseballs. It’s embarrassing. The balls that we’re using right now, for me, are really bad, they’re very slippery. I can’t believe it,” he said.