CINCINNATI -- The Pirates' dugout was visibly upset Friday night after Reds closer Aroldis Chapman hit center fielder Andrew McCutchen in the arm with a 101-mph fastball with two outs in the ninth inning of the Reds' 3-0 win.
Both teams were fairly quiet on the issue after the game Friday, but Reds manager Dusty Baker made assurances Saturday that there was no ill intention in the throw.
"It wasn't intentional, they were pitching him inside," Baker said. "He hadn't done anything to us to merit us hitting him intentionally except play. He just plays hard. I'd be upset, too, because it hurts."
Chapman struck out Garrett Jones on three pitches in the following at-bat to secure the win.
Baker said he spoke with Chapman after Friday's game to see what happened on the pitch, and the hard-throwing lefty confirmed that he was just working McCutchen inside.
"I already asked Chapman, and the answer was no," Baker said. "He just said [McCutchen] has been hot and that they were trying to pitch him on the inside. There's not that much difference between a ball and a strike and a hit batsman on the inside. If you're coming inside, those things can happen."
The incident came the same night that Baker called McCutchen the MVP of the season so far, and the Reds skipper continued to reinforce that the Pirates All-Star gave no reason to be plunked.
"He doesn't clown, he doesn't showboat, he doesn't do nothing," Baker said. "He just plays. And he plays hard and he plays great. I'm sorry if they took it like that, but there was definitely no intent. Zero."