The Atlanta Braves waited a long time to exact revenge for Jose Urena plunking Ronald Acuna Jr. The Marlins purposely avoided pitching him against the Braves knowing revenge was coming.
Kevin Gausman was the Atlanta Braves starting pitcher when Jose Urena finally matched up once again against the Braves. Gausman threw a fastball at Urena, unfortunately for Gausman he missed and was still ejected from the game.
There is a lot of layers to cover in this attempted plunking but first let’s get one important point out of the way. In no way is this article advocating throwing at players in a way that attempts to injure or endangers their well being.
Now to the situation at hand, it seemed a knee jerk reaction to throw Gausman out of the game considering that there weren’t any warnings issued and he missed. But the both dugouts and all 32 of the Marlins fans who bothered to show up knew it was a pitch with purpose.
For Gausman, this was absolutely the right move. It sent a message to Urena that his behavior was unacceptable and a message to Acuna that the dugout has his back.
Urena wasn’t throwing at Acuna because he had done anything aside from play the game with exuberance that Urena didn’t appreciate. Rather than try to get him out Urena opted to bury a fastball into Acuna.
In a League that is pushing a “Let the kids play” mantra this was the polar opposite of what they were trying to accomplish. Gausman’s attempt to hit Urena was revenge pure and simple. It wasn’t part of the unwritten rules, it wasn’t about how the game should or shouldn’t be played.
It was a message sent to Acuna that the dugout has his back and a message to Urena and the Marlins that beaning their players won’t be tolerated. More to come as the series between the Marlins and Braves continues.