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Syndergaard invites Royals to meet him '60 feet, 6 inches away'

Brad Penner / Reuters

Noah Syndergaard delivered a warning that may have left a lasting impression on the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

The rookie flamethrower came up and in on Royals leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar with the very first pitch of Game 3, leading to some angry words directed Syndergaard's way courtesy of the Kansas City bench.


Syndergaard confirmed that the high-and-tight offering was planned in order to keep Escobar from going after his first pitch. Before the contest, the right-hander said he asked batterymate Travis d'Arnaud, "How do you feel about high and tight for the first pitch?"

Added Syndergaard, "I knew that Escobar attacks first pitches, so there you go, hit this one. My intent on that pitch was to make them uncomfortable, and I think it did just that."

Although the game continued without any retaliation from the Royals, the players voiced their opinions in postgame interviews.

"Everyone is upset about it," Eric Hosmer said. "You don't want a teammate to have his head thrown at, so everybody is upset."

Escobar, who may have been shook by the high pitch and went 1-for-4 in the contest with two strikeouts, shared Hosmer's sentiments.

"I didn't like it at all. He even said he had a plan," Escobar told reporters. "I feel like if that's a plan, it's a stupid plan ... If he wants to do that, throw it at my feet, throw it anywhere, but not at my head.

"It's wrong. I don't think any pitcher should do that. If we do that to them, they're going to say it was on purpose."

Syndergaard, who may not start again until Game 7, but could potentially pitch out of the bullpen, had a very direct response for the Royals.

"... I certainly wasn't trying to hit the guy, that's for sure," he explained. " I just didn't want him getting too comfortable. If they have a problem with me throwing inside, they can meet me 60 feet, six inches away. I've got no problem with that."

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