White Sox P Mike Wright Jr. Suspended 3 Games for Throwing at Shohei Ohtani

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 18, 2021

Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Mike Wright Jr. on the mound against the Kansas City Royals during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

Chicago White Sox pitcher Mike Wright Jr. was suspended three games for hitting Shohei Ohtani with a pitch in the ninth inning of Thursday's 9-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Wright will appeal the suspension.

Wright was ejected from the game after plunking Ohtani with nobody on base and two outs in the ninth. White Sox manager Tony La Russa was also ejected after arguing with crew chief Bill Welke. La Russa was reportedly suspended one game.

La Russa believed Welke thought Wright was retaliating after three White Sox hitters (Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Jose Abreu) were struck by Angels pitches Tuesday.

"It wasn't intentional," he told reporters. "[Welke] read it wrong. It wasn't consistent with, No. 1, the way they treated the three hit-by-pitches. Secondly, where was our retaliation? It looks bad to our pitcher and our team. It's disappointing."

Angels manager Joe Maddon disagreed.

"It was retaliatory," he said. "We knew that."

Wright, 31, has had a decent season, going 0-1 in nine appearances with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and seven strikeouts in 13.1 innings.

He spent the 2020 season playing for the NC Dinos in the Korea Baseball Organization and largely pitched in Triple-A this year. The White Sox called him up in mid-August.

As for Ohtani, he's the runaway favorite to win the American League MVP Award and one of the game's singular superstars. He's hitting .256 with 44 homers, 94 RBI, 92 runs and a .953 OPS while also going 9-2 on the mound with a 3.36 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 136 strikeouts in 115.1 innings.

There simply is nobody in baseball like him, and the fact that he was the player Wright hit may have convinced Welke and home plate umpire Chris Conroy it was done intentionally.