So, I went to the KC Royals webpage to see how Hoch fared against the Angels and was greeted with the headline, "Hochevar ejected in fourth after plunking Trout". Well, consider me intrigued. I love a good hit-by-pitch, especially when it's a retaliatory one. Then my eyes scrolled down and saw this picture,
I'm no body-language expert, but that doesn't look like the reaction of a guy who intentionally drilled a batter. So, I watched the video.
Man, that umpire overreacted. It was an inside pitch that got away from Hoch, but when Trout instinctually tried to get out of the way, his hands dropped down to his waist and the ball hit the end of his bat. I would love to hear the ump's explanation as to why Hoch deserved to be tossed from the game for that play. It wasn't a head-hunting pitch. It wasn't a pitch to the center of Trout's back. It was an inside, hip-high pitch that probably would have hit Trout in the thigh had the bat not been in the way. Above all else, it was a foul ball. Has a pitcher ever been ejected for a foul ball pitch before?
In my eyes, the ump got the call wrong, which happens. Then I realized the game was in LA/Anaheim, which made me wonder, was Frank Drebin back behind the dish? Because that is the only way that call makes sense to me.