When Guillen stepped to the plate again in the fifth, everyone knew what was coming. With the count 1-0, Martinez grazed Guillen’s left shoulder with an 89 mph fastball, and Washington’s most emotional player couldn’t hold it in anymore.
Having just been hit by Martinez for the fifth time in 40 career plate appearances, Guillen immediately started walking to the mound, pointed his bat toward the pitcher and jawed. Lo Duca and plate umpire Ted Barrett both corralled him, but it was too late. Both benches and bullpens emptied, and though no punches were thrown, plenty more jawing ensued.
“He’s never been afraid to pitch inside,” Guillen said. “But I think enough is enough, and I’ve had enough. We used to be friends, but our relationship, I think, is over.”
Martinez, who is scheduled to pitch against the Nationals again on Wednesday at RFK Stadium, insisted he wasn’t trying to hit Guillen.
“I’ve hit him a few times before, but obviously not intentionally,” Martinez said. “I’m going to consistently try to pitch him in. That’s the area wherever I can spot a fastball in, I’m going to do it. But it’s not my intention to hit him.”
Robinson has long espoused the belief that the best revenge is a three-run homer, so perhaps the 70-year-old manager whispered something along those lines to Johnson as he stepped to the plate following the Guillen altercation. Johnson replied in kind, belting Martinez’s 2-1 pitch to right field for his second three-run homer in as many nights.
As he rounded the bases, Guillen clapped his hands furiously. The Nationals had tied the game 5-5, and Johnson had turned that hostility into something productive.
Too bad it didn’t hold up. In the bottom of the inning, Carlos Delgado crushed Ortiz’s first pitch to right for a tiebreaking home run, putting the Mets back on top 6-5. Two innings later, Carlos Beltran took Eischen deep, and Delgado added an RBI double to make it 9-5, a deficit too steep for the emotionally charged Nationals to overcome.
Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To submit a question, go to the
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