Los Angeles Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen blamed Major League Baseball for a scary moment in Friday’s game against the Seattle Mariners.
Mariners outfielder Justin Upton was hit in the head by a Lorenzen fastball in the fifth inning of Friday’s game. Upton left the contest, though he was cleared from concussion protocols following the game.
Lorenzen was asked about the incident after the game, and he offered a lengthy response blaming slick baseballs and MLB’s inconsistent standards.
“I don’t know what Major League Baseball is playing with these baseballs, but that fully slipped out of my hand,” Lorenzen said. “These baseballs are slick. They did get someone hurt. So that’s on Major League Baseball for sure. I don’t know what’s going on. These baseballs are straight out of the package.”
Lorenzen is far from the only player to express unhappiness with the baseballs used by the league. There has been related criticism about how the league’s crackdown on foreign substances without offering a legal replacement has made it harder for pitchers to command their pitches.
MLB has never offered any direct response to criticism of the baseballs. That is unlikely to change even after this.