Kevin Youkilis seems to be getting hit by pitches a lot lately. While it seems to come as a complete surprise to the Red Sox’s corner infielder every time he is a recipient of a 90+ MPH fastball to the back, I’m not entirely amazed when it happens. Let me break it down.
This guy is a great baseball player, there’s no doubt about it. Since making his major league debut on May 15th of 2004, Youkilis has won a Gold Glove and Hank Aaron Award (2007 and 2008 respectively), has been named to two All-Star games (2008, 2009), and has been a part of two Red Sox World Series Championships (2004, 2007). “Youk,” as he is known to Bostonians, also finished near the top of the 2008 AL MVP voting, eventually being bested by teammate Dustin Pedroia. He is well known for his gritty play and intense demeanor on the diamond, something that may contribute to the fact that he finishes near the top of the league in HBP annually.
Let me list a few of the notable Youkilis beanings:
Scott Proctor- On June 1st of 2007, Proctor, then with the Yankees, hit Youkilis in the head with a pitch prompting his ejection from the game. This would not be the last time a Yankees pitcher would throw at Youkilis in 2007.
Joba Chamberlain- I think it’s become pretty clear over the past few years that these two simply despise each other. Chamberlain decided to act on that feeling in 2007. On August 30th, Chamberlain threw at Youkilis’ head twice during one at-bat. Like Proctor a few months prior, Joba was ejected and also fined for what the MLB called “inappropriate actions.” Chamberlain has thrown at Youkilis multiple times since this incident.
Chien-Ming Wang- 2007 was not a fun year for Youkilis to face Yankee pitching. On September 15th Wang drilled Kevin Youkilis on the hand with a pitch resulting in a deep tendon bruise that sidelined “Youk” for 10 days. Youkilis would go on to rank 6th in the league with 15 HBP.
Rick Porcello- Against the Tigers in August of this year, Porcello intentionally hit Youkilis in the middle of the back with a pitch, although the Tigers’ young pitcher denies the intentional part (yeah, right). This prompted Youkilis to charge the mound and get in a wrestling match with the 20 year old Porcello. Both were ejected and later suspended. [READ MORE...]