Last night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks was the type of game fans and players will remember for a long time.
In addition to pulling out a thrilling come-from-behind 5-3 win keyed by a three-run double from Tim Federowicz, the game was highlighted by some particularly aggressive brawling.
It was 2-0 Arizona in the sixth, when a fastball from Dbacks starter Ian Kennedy grazed Yasiel Puig‘s nose, sending the much-heralded Cuban rookie to the ground and concerning Dodgers fans and players. He eventually got up and remained in the game, but things felt tense. Andre Ethier followed with a two-run homer, tying the game at 2.
In the seventh, Dodgers starter Zack Greinke retaliated by hitting Arizona catcher Miguel Montero in the back. The benches emptied but no punches were thrown…yet.
As Los Angeles Times reporter Dylan Hernandez quoted him, manager Don Mattingly said “It should have really been over at that point” – but it wasn’t.
In the bottom of the seventh, Greinke strode to the plate and was promptly hit in the left shoulder by Kennedy (who was immediately tossed from the game). He remained calm, but practically nobody else did, as both benches and bullpens emptied and got into a heated pushing and shoving match – with some punches being thrown.
It was a bit surreal seeing Mattingly and hitting coach Mark McGwire sparring with Arizona coaches (and ex big-leaguers) Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell, Don Baylor, and Matt Williams – and the image of McGwire collar-grabbing Williams was especially memorable.
The skirmish went on for quite some time, eventually resulting in the ejections of Kennedy, McGwire, Puig (as he landed some blows on Arizona’s Eric Hinske), Ronald Belisario, Arizona coach Turner Ward and Kirk Gibson.
Click here to open a new window and watch video of the scene.
After play resumed, Arizona took the lead on an RBI single from Willie Bloomquist against Matt Guerrier, but the Dodgers reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning when Federowicz lined a three-run double against Arizona reliever Daniel Hernandez.
Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers’ newly-appointed closer, nailed down the save and sealing the dramatic, emotional victory for the Dodgers.
Said Federowicz after the game: “I hope we face (Ian) Kennedy in the next series”.
There’s no doubt that last night’s events will result in many suspensions for most of the players involved – especially those that actually landed punches. There hasn’t been any word yet regarding disciplinary action, but it’ll presumably come sometime soon.
Tonight’s game is set for 7:10 and will pit Patrick Corbin (9-0, 1.98 ERA) against Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-2, 2.72 ERA) in the rubber match of the three-game set.