In the Yankees clubhouse, there was no doubt Josh Rupe intentionally hit Russell Martin in the ninth inning last night. In the Orioles clubhouse, Rupe insisted he was simply trying to throw a fastball inside.
“Trust me, that’s the last thing that I want to do,” Rupe said. “I know how it looked, and for me and a lot of these guys on this team, I pitch in. That’s what I do when I’m coming out of the ‘pen. I’ve already given up a home run, and yeah, I was really (ticked) off. But I’m not going to resort to possibly hurting a guy and end his career or anything like that. There’s no reason for me to do that.”
One by one, the Yankees said it was hard to believe Rupe simply made a bad pitch. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he understood, but he also said he was choosing to believe Rupe’s side of the story.
“I’ve known Josh for a long time,” Showalter said. “I think he’d be very straight with me. But I do understand what it looked like, and it didn’t look good.”
Rupe said if he were trying to hit Martin he wouldn’t have hit him in the upper back.
“There’s no way that I would do that and intentionally go at somebody’s head or go way up there,” Rupe said. “I know how to hit a guy when the situation calls for it, and that wasn’t it.”