Giants play-by-play broadcaster Mike Krukow isn't taking manager Gabe Kapler's side this time.
Kapler said after the Giants' 8-2 win Tuesday that Shaun Anderson had no intention of throwing at Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout's head in the ninth inning. Watching the two errant pitches in real time, Krukow, who pitched 14 seasons in the major leagues, felt otherwise.
“I didn’t like ’em, they were head high,” Kruk Wednesday morning on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. “I don’t think a guy who has better-than-average control, you can’t be expected to pitch in the late innings of a big-league baseball game if you don’t have the ability to throw strikes. He threw two fastballs, one that was up around his head and then he backed it up with one behind his head, and I didn’t appreciate that at all."
To make one thing clear, Krukow doesn't believe there was an order from Kapler, any other coach or player to Anderson telling him to throw high and tight at the three-time AL MVP. If anything, this was Anderson choosing to do so on his own.
“I don’t think anyone told him to do it because first of all, going into the game Gabe Kapler told us he didn’t want to throw (Trevor) Gott, (Tyler) Rodgers, (Tony) Watson. So, okay, they used everybody else in the ‘pen up to that point, and the last man without using those three guys was Anderson, so he’s going to throw the ninth inning. So there’s no way that was ordered from the bench.
“I am not going to say 100 percent, but I’m pretty sure those two pitches had purpose on them. The fact that they were head high I didn’t like it at all.
Giants third baseman Evan Longoria was hit in the back with a pitch in the top of the fifth. Was Anderson retaliating for that?
Kapler wanted to make it clear right away in his postgame press conference that wasn't the case.
Krukow certainly hopes that's the case, but he believes Anderson's pitches near Trout's head wasn't a coincidence.
"I think at that point in time they were in a game ahead 8-1, they need to win this game," Krukow said. "This is the biggest win of the year. They’re coming off five losses in a row, three were games they should have won and they lost them in horrific ways. Now they need this game. I think for him to atone for Evan Longoria getting drilled earlier in the game -- and it was a bad one, he got hit in the ribs with 97 -- I think there was purpose behind the pitch, and the fact he threw it up there at his head, I don’t think it was the time, the place, and the fact he threw it behind his head I didn’t appreciate.
“If he says he slipped, he slipped, but I’m just looking at it how I read it. And I didn’t think it was done correctly, and I think it was something you could’ve done at a later time. They’re playing them tonight and tomorrow. If the Longoria thing bothers you, do it tonight or tomorrow.
"But you don’t do it in a game where the bullpen is banged up and you don’t do it up around the head. End of story.”
For what it's worth Angels manager Joe Maddon didn't think Anderson had intent on his pitches. He did, however, throw some shade at the Giants reliever.
"That's just a young man that's not ready to be here," Maddon said to reporters after the game. "There's nothing malicious about it."
Oh yeah, the Giants begin a two-game home series against the Angels on Wednesday night after facing the Halos twice on the road.