Don’t mess with a $147 million pitcher. There will be retaliation.
Three other batters had been hit Tuesday night when Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy hit his Dodgers counterpart, Zack Greinke. Kennedy threw one up and in that plunked Greinke high on the shoulder, and, well, that was all it took.
Arizona’s Cody Ross was the first batter hit, and the Diamondbacks responded by plunking Dodgers Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig. Then, Greinke drilled Miguel Montero in the top of the seventh.
Now here’s where things get a little weird. Although Greinke was at 98 pitches through seven innings, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sent him out to lead off the bottom of the frame, and the $147 million man was promptly hit in retaliation for Montero. It’s one of baseball’s unwritten rules that an opposing pitcher is never intentionally hit, and that’s undoubtedly what sparked the brawl that followed.
It feels like it’s been a while since there’s been a real brawl in baseball — with punches thrown and everything — and Tuesday’s faceoff certainly didn’t disappoint. Perhaps the best part of the entire thing was watching how angry L.A. hitting coach Mark McGwire got at Arizona third base coach Matt Williams, who looked very, very scared. (That part of the video comes at about the 1:20 mark.)
After all of that, there were six ejections — McGwire, Puig, Kennedy, Ronald Belisario, Diamondbacks coach Turner Ward and manager Kirk Gibson — and Greinke didn’t even come out to pitch the eighth.
This is the second major brawl that Greinke has been involved in this year. He missed time after being injured by Carlos Quentin in a Dodgers-Padres fight earlier this year.
Check out the whole scene (bonus: Vin Scully makes the call) in the video below.