Red Sox: Did Corey Kluber intentionally hit Eduardo Nunez?

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 23: Eduardo Nunez
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 23: Eduardo Nunez /

The Boston Red Sox suspect that the ace of the Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber, intentionally hit Eduardo Nunez with a pitch on Wednesday night’s game.

It was game three between the Red Sox and Indians of a four-game series and after a number of heated games throughout the year, things may have boiled over. Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians is now suspected to have hit Eduardo Nunez intentionally with a pitch.

In the eighth inning of an eventual 6-1 win for the Red Sox, Kluber walked Brock Holt and fell to a 2-0 count to Nunez when the score was 1-0 in favor of Boston. Kluber grooved a fastball right down the heart of the plate and Nunez took a huge swing and a miss that sent him to his knees.

Apparently, Kluber took exception to that and his next pitch was well inside and ended up hitting Nunez, arguably the hottest Red Sox hitter, on the elbow. The situation didn’t escalate but Nunez did take his time getting down to first base and even took several steps towards Kluber and the mound. However, the Red Sox did make Kluber pay in the next at-bat via an RBI single by Mookie Betts.

On Thursday, Red Sox manager John Farrell was asked about how the dugout reacted to Nunez being hit and he responded, “For (a guy with) pinpoint control, you know, I think that was fairly obvious, the message (that was sent).”

Farrell was then asked about the “unwritten rules” of baseball and whether Nunez’s swing was in violation.

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“No, I don’t think so,” Farrell said.

Nunez also spoke on the matter with and said, “if he did it on purpose, that wasn’t professional. If he just missed his pitch, that’s OK. I don’t know. I don’t know what to think. He never misses a lot of pitches. I hope he was missing.”

During the live broadcast of the game, NESN broadcaster and former Red Sox outfielder, Jonny Gomes, had no doubts that it was intentional.

“That’s old school baseball right there,” Gomes said following the pitch. “That just heated everything up. And (the Red Sox) have a left-hander on the bench that’s starting (on Thursday in Chris Sale) who doesn’t shy away from too much controversy if needed.”

Gomes also said that intentionally hitting Nunez wasn’t a problem or issue, even though it ended up costing the Indians a run.

“That’s about professional as it gets,” Gomes said. “That was handled the right way…I personally don’t think anything doesn’t needs to happen from the league as far as getting suspended or getting fined. I think it was handled fine.”

Next: Sale's Struggles Against the Indians are Concerning

The Red Sox and Indians split their four-game series, two games a piece, and gave everyone a bit of a preview of a potential playoff matchup. Both teams have very strong pitching and strong clubhouses and this may be a situation that is used as “fuel for the fire” during a playoff series. It is unknown whether Kluber intentionally hit Nunez but surely the Red Sox will use that as motivation to really bring it to him next time he’s on the mound.