The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks got into a bean-ball war on Tuesday night, and that led to two benches-clearing standoffs, one of which turned into a brawl. Any hopes that cooler heads would prevail after a day have gone right out the window.
The Dodgers are still upset about the fight, as they feel Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy intentionally threw at the heads of rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig and pitcher Zack Greinke. The pitch to Puig glanced off his shoulder and grazed his nose, while Greinke had a ball deflect off his helmet and hit his left shoulder. After Greinke was hit, a brawl ensued that saw six players and coaches ejected.
In between those two incidents, Greinke hit Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero in the back, which prompted the first benches-clearing standoff.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said the team is upset because if Puig and Greinke hadn’t reacted fast enough, both could have ended up in the hospital.
“Do I think Kennedy hit Puig on purpose? No. But the fact that he’s a professional pitcher and he’s throwing at faces. Then to do it again in Zack’s face, there’s no place for that. If you can’t throw inside, don’t go there.”
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had the following to say about the incident:
“Anything like that is going to leave a lot of taste in people’s mouths…The second ball (to Greinke) is no doubt intentional. That’s two balls thrown last night that could have ended guys’ careers.”
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson denied that Kennedy was head-hunting Greinke saying, “That’s not our intent.”
I thought Kennedy hitting Puig was an accident, you can tell by his reaction that the pitch got away from him. And the Dodgers believe that after Montero was hit, the score was settled and things were even. I agree with that as well. Kennedy then going up high and hitting Greinke was uncalled for and it should result in a lengthy suspension.
Something tells me these two division rivals will have another incident at some point this season.
Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario put it bluntly when he said, “It’s not done.”