“No sense calling out names. They’re all there.”
That was Vin Scully’s terrific call on the brawl that broke out between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in L.A. In retrospect, perhaps it was predictable, with two starters, Zack Greinke and Ian Kennedy, who are known for plunking batters. It began when Kennedy hit the Dodgers’ new star, Yasiel Puig, with a 92-mile-per-hour fastball in the sixth inning.
At that point, there was no turning back, particularly for Greinke, the center of a brawl with the San Diego Padres earlier this year. From the Associated Press:
An inning earlier, Greinke hit Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and both teams came charging onto the field but it broke up quickly with no punches thrown. That was payback for Kennedy hitting Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig. The ball deflected off his shoulder and struck Puig on the nose.
Kennedy then hit Greinke in the upper left shoulder with one out in the seventh and the game tied 2-2. Both benches and bullpens cleared and a fight ensued near the Diamondbacks’ dugout that nearly spilled into the stands.
“It got pretty ugly,” Montero said. “They came out of nowhere, just throwing punches. When everybody was trying to break it up, they just kept coming and throwing punches. It was like 25 against 72, because all the DL [disabled list] guys were out there, too. I guess their arms were feeling pretty good because they were throwing good punches.”
It was, as Scully put it, “just a mess down there.”
Puig, the rookie who came into the game hitting .500 over his first eight games, was unhurt — no concussion, no broken nose — but he charged into the fray and earned an ejection for his efforts. He wasn’t speaking after the game. “Puig gets hit in the face, Montero gets hit, it should have been really over at this point,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said.
Puig was the 41st batter Kennedy has hit since the start of 2010 and he said he was just trying to pitch inside to him. ”If you can’t pitch inside without hitting someone in the head,” Mattingly said, “you shouldn’t pitch inside.”
Kennedy and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw exchanged brushbacks and Kershaw was in the midst of it Tuesday night. Kennedy protested his innocence. “I thought I got him on the shoulder, but by his reaction, I figure I got him somewhere in the face,” he said. “I definitely did not want to hit a guy with two strikes and put somebody like him on base.”
Smack in the middle of it were some pretty amazing undercards involving ex-players from another era: Mattingly threw Diamondbacks bench coach Alan Trammell to the turf and Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire blasting a barrage of expletives at Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson.
When it was over, there had been six ejections: Puig, McGwire, Gibson, Kennedy, Diamondbacks coach Turner Ward and Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario. There’ll be further punishment when Major League Baseball officials look at the video.
“In a sense, I am personally relieved the game is over.” -Vin Scully
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 12, 2013
Oh, the Dodgers won 5-3.