On the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning on Thursday night, Yankees RHP Luis Severino blew a fastball that had Red Sox OF Mookie Betts hitting the ground to get out of the way.
The umpires gave Severino a warning and Red Sox manager Alex Cora lost his mind and got ejected. After the game, Severino dismissed the idea that his pitch was intended to plunk Betts.
"If I'm going to hit somebody," Severino said, "I'm not going to miss."
Severino was annoyed at the quick warning.
"First pitch of the game, I get a f****** warning," Severino said. "I mean, it's going to be surprising of course. I wasn't trying to hit nobody."
Furthermore, the pitch that brushed Betts back was elevated near his head. Severino said he would never purposefully throw at somebody's head.
"Mookie is a great guy," Severino said. "And if I'm going to hit somebody, I'm not going to go to the head. That's not right."
Cora, in his postgame news conference three hours later, still couldn't hide his frustration.
"Well," he said, "the first pitch of the game went right at the head of the best player in baseball. There's intent. It is what it is. We won the game and we'll move on."
Severino and the Yankees would lose 4-1 to the Red Sox, falling 7.5 games back in the AL East.