The Boston Red Sox were trailing the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 in the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on second base when recently acquired slugger, Yoenis Cespedes, came to the plate.
Jonathan Broxton’s first pitch to Cespedes appeared to be an intentional brushback pitch, a 95 mph fastball headed right for Cespedes’ chin.
It is impossible to know if Broxton was trying to hit Cespedes or just rattle his cage, so to speak. But with two outs, no runner on first base, and a home run hitter at the plate, putting Cespedes on first base would not have been the worst thing for the Reds. Also, hitting the batter takes fewer pitches than intentionally walking him.
Cespedes knew this and was clearly not happy, staring back at Broxton after the pitch.
But instead of yelling at Broxton, or even charging the mound, or doing something that might lead to a benches-clearing brawl, Cespedes had an even better response.
On the very next pitch, Cespedes hit a home run to straight-away center field, giving the Red Sox the lead and an eventual 3-2 win.
Cespedes clearly enjoyed the moment, taking a few extra steps to admire his work.
Broxton, on the other hand, was less than thrilled by the turn of events. Karma can be cruel.
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