Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees: The beanballing will continue

Austin Meadows Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Austin Meadows Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

We got round one of the Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees rivalry last weekend, with the Rays taking two of three at Tropicana Field.

Round two begins tonight, the first series between the two clubs at Yankee Stadium this season. It’s going to be everything we want in a series, or will it?

While the offenses of both teams are non-existent right now, it’s the pitching that is going to take center-stage, especially with Jordan Montgomery and Gerrit Cole tabbed to start for the Bronx Bombers.

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Montgomery was at the center of the newest installment of the beanball saga, one that has seen 38 hit-by-pitches between the two teams since Sept. 27, 2018, the so-called beginning of the saga.

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees beanballing saga origins

These videos help explain the origins of the saga, where former Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia was ejected after hitting Jesus Sucre, and Tampa Bay Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge threw at Austin Romine.

The Yankees have hit and/or thrown at the Tampa Bay Rays more frequently during this time, with 23 hit batters among their pitchers compared to 15 hit batters for the Tampa Bay Rays. New York also hasn’t hit a team more in this span than the Tampa Bay Rays.

Of these, the most notable incident was one during the 2020 season, a game where in the ninth inning, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman threw a 101 MPH fastball at infielder Mike Brosseau’s head.

Brosseau was able to narrowly duck out of the way of the pitch, but it led to a two-game suspension for Chapman that he served to start the 2021 season, and a one-game suspension for Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash after saying this now famous quote.

If you wanted to know where “The Stable” came from, here’s your answer.

Will it continue between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees? Yes.

While words have been thrown out from both sides and there have been stoppages of play, no formal brawls have taken place since that day in 2018, and if things continue to escalate, that might end this weekend.

Montgomery hit Tampa Bay Rays outfielder/designated hitter Austin Meadows twice during his outing on Sunday, including one that went quite close to his head in the first inning that immediately prompted home plate umpire Marty Foster to issue warnings to both dugouts.

Foster and the Tampa Bay Rays do not have a fond history of each other, especially after this call which might be one of the worst third strike calls in the history of baseball.

Bad umpiring aside, the two teams have hit each other a lot, it’s bound to happen this weekend, and don’t be surprised if the benches clear as a result.

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