I’ll never forget watching Robert Andino walkoff against the Red Sox on September 28, 2012. Watching him end Boston’s season and telling the Red Sox to go home is forever engrained into my mind.
Perhaps the same is true for Boston.
Nearly a year after Bob’s walkoff, Red Sox relief pitcher Mark Melancon drilled Andino in the helmet with a 94 MPH fastball in the top of the ninth inning of Friday night’s game. It was a scary moment, but one that Andino seemed more pissed about being hit than shaken up.
“I just talked to Robert in there, and if you know Robert like we do, he’s not really in the mood,” Orioles skipper Buck Showalter told reporters after the game.
Not only was Andino the guy that ended Boston’s 2011 campaign, but he took a fastball to the noggin after a 2-for-2 night in Fenway.
The reaction to Andino’s headshot was pretty mixed. Some thought it was a clear statement from Boston, a team who is currently 20 games out of first place, while others thought the ball merely got away from Melancon.
It should be noted that the Red Sox did drill Adam Jones during the two team’s last meeting. That was supposedly retaliation for AJ’s collision with with Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia the night before.
“We’ll file it away,” Showalter said after that game.
Melancon wasn’t on the Red Sox roster during their collapse last season, but surely there is some animosity within the organization towards Andino and the Orioles.
We’ll never truly know if Andino was drilled intentionally, but one could make an argument for either side. All I know is, Bob was ready to throw down and the benches were already warned after the first nine innings between these two teams.