LOS ANGELES -- Vicente Padilla has hit 103 batters with pitches in his Major League career and been accused of sometimes doing so intentionally, but he said the pitch that hit Robinson Cano on Friday night was not one of those.
"I'm not the bad guy in this movie," Padilla said Saturday.
Padilla hit Cano in the backside with an 0-1 fastball in the fourth inning on Friday night. When Padilla came to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia hit Padilla with a first-pitch fastball on the leg. Plate umpire Phil Cuzzi considered Sabathia's retaliatory and issued warnings to both teams.
"Hitting Cano was totally unintentional," said Padilla. "I throw inside. That was too inside. They want to antagonize, but I'm not the bad guy in this movie. I don't know why they hit me. I would imagine they did it to defend and protect teammates. I understand that, but the pitch I threw was not intentional."
Padilla said he had never before faced Sabathia and had no history of trouble with him. The pitchers glared at each other as Padilla walked slowly toward first base with bat in hand. Padilla said no comments were exchanged.
"If it makes him happy to hit me," said Padilla, "that's OK."
The second batter Padilla faced after being hit, Alex Rodriguez, slugged the game-winning home run, but Padilla said the umpire's warning did not influence his pitch selection.
"I tried a four-seamer in, but it kept in the middle," he said. "Nothing is going to change how I pitch in a game. I always pitch inside. The fact there's a warning isn't going to change that."
Otherwise, Padilla was pleased with his second start after nearly two months on the disabled list with an inflamed radial nerve. He was charged with two runs in seven innings in the 2-1 loss and was especially effective with an Eephus slow curve.
"I wish we had won, but I'm happy with the way I pitched and the velocity I had the whole game," he said.