La Russa: Astros should 'have the guts to admit' they threw at Abreu
"They should have the guts to admit that they did it, why they did it, I have no reason to understand (why)," La Russa said after his team's season-ending loss Tuesday, according to Kennedi Landry of MLB.com.
"They beat us," he added. "They played better. We're disappointed. That was intentional. I don't understand why. I don't understand how they got away with it."
The Astros were ahead 7-1 in the eighth inning when reliever Kendall Graveman's 94-mph fastball hit Abreu in the shoulder. Umpires issued warnings to both benches after a brief conference, but they didn't eject Graveman. La Russa pleaded his case to no avail.
(Video source: MLB.com)
The pitch that hit Abreu was the third high-and-inside throw from Graveman to the three-time All-Star, who was hit 22 times during the season. The White Sox have been upset about how often Abreu has been hit, and they got into a scuffle with the Detroit Tigers after they hit the reigning AL MVP last month.
"I questioned after they threw three pitches (to Abreu) in there, they should have just ejected him," La Russa said. "It will be a good test of character and credibility of the winning team because it was intentional. (Their) catcher kept looking in the dugout, so they did hit him intentionally."
Astros manager Dusty Baker denied La Russa's accusations.
"There's no intent and there’s no reason to do that. Zero," Baker said, according to James Fegan of The Athletic.
Tuesday's incident was the latest twist in what seems to be an escalating feud between the White Sox and Astros. Earlier in the series, Pale Hose reliever Ryan Tepera insinuated Houston was once again stealing signs. Additionally, the bad blood between La Russa and Baker dates back decades.
Before leaving Chicago for the winter, La Russa called on the Astros to acknowledge they targeted Abreu.
"They should admit it, and if they don't they're being very dishonest," the 77-year-old Hall of Famer said, according to Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun-Times.