Chicago White Sox designated hitter Yermin Mercedes ruffled some feathers when he swung at a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning while leading 15-4 over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. Cranking the 47 mph pitch deep over the centerfield wall, the big-league rookie gave the Sox their final 16-4 score.
In the eyes of the Twins, Mercedes had broken an unwritten rule in baseball. And on Tuesday night, they wanted to make him pay for it.
In the top of the seventh with Chicago leading 4-2, Minnesota pitcher Tyler Duffey launched a pitch towards Mercedes -- striking him in the back of his leading leg. After a short meeting of the umpires, the Twins pitcher was thrown out of the game.
Here's a clip of the play:
According to ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan, MLB hitters have seen 557 pitches in 3-0 counts with their team leading by more than 10 runs over the past 20 years. Mercedes was the first and only of those players to take a swing
While Mercedes may have broken an "unspoken rule" of baseball with his late-game homer on Monday night, this kind of reaction is unacceptable in the MLB game.
That being said, the Twins weren't the only ones upset with Mercedes' swing on the 3-0 count. The rookie's own White Sox manager, Tony La Russa, spoke out against the play earlier today.
"Big mistake," La Russa said, via ESPN. "The fact that he's a rookie, and excited, helps explain why he just was clueless. But now he's got a clue."
Fans and analysts from across the MLB criticized La Russa's old fashioned approach to the game.
Now the top of the eighth, Chicago still leads Minnesota 4-2. The White Sox currently hold the best record in the American League at 25-15.