The night before the start of the Stanley Cup final a hockey game broke out at Chavez Ravine and the hometown Dodgers were the last men standing after their great come from behind 5-3 win over the first place Diamondbacks.
This was just baseball as Abner Doubleday layed it out many moons ago…except he never said it was ok to throw at anybody’s head! But the Kirk Gibson-led Snakes starter Ian Kennedy who leads the league in hitters plunked threw above the shoulders twice in the same game, something I can’t ever remember happening since maybe the head-hunting days of the 1960’s.
The one that started emptying the benches was Dodger week-old rookie phenom Yasiel Puig getting one towards the face in the 6th inning by a Kennedy pitch and the kid was fortunate to just be able to back away barely in time and ONLY get his nosed grazed by the ball–a very scary moment indeed. But then it got even uglier after Andre Ethier tied the game with a 2-run shot to deep right.
Two more hit batters later we had another pair of bench-clearing skirmishes and six ejections. And how ironic that in the middle of all that drama was Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, who famously nailed Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres which starting a brawl between those two teams in April.
Greinke did what a pitcher should do (after seeing one of his stars go down hard) and that’s to retaliate by hitting a D-backs batter—in this case, catcher Miguel Montero in the next inning. The benches cleared again but nothing much really happened until Zack took one just below the noggin and it really got ugly with about a 10 minute scuffle in front the Snakes dugout followed by 5 ejections.
And as if the Dodgers didn’t already have enough guys on the disabled list to start their own mash unit, it might’ve gotten worse when Puig came up a little gimpy when running out a ground ball in the 2nd inning. But he walked it off and stayed in the game long enough to be one of the guys thrown out. All in all it was a night to remember and I just keep thinking if only a guy like Don Drysdale was on the mound tonight, heads would really roll…literally!
Now what will baseball do about Ian Kennedy throwing above the shoulders twice in one game? I say throw the book at him like never before (even throw it towards his head so he’ll NEVER do it again!!!
The following are my sounds of the postgame and it was quite an interesting Dodger clubhouse that was glowing after their most exciting comeback win of the year…and now we’ll really see if it’s an ‘All New Blue’?:
Don Mattingly who’s response to my question of his feelings when Greinke got beaned was “Bull-$hi#”:
Zack Greinke who went 7 innings of 2 hit ball and got nothing to show for it but some extra exercise in the bench clearing stuff:
Dodger catcher Tim Federowicz after just missing a grand salami by a few feet and gladly settling for the game winning 3-run double in the 8th:
Dodger pinch hitter Mark Ellis who himself got plunked by a pitch in the 8th inning:
Dodger leadoff man Skip Schumaker who didn’t mince his words about the bean-balls:
Dodger CF Andre Ethier:
Dodger SS Luis Cruz on his next-door locker neighbor and buddy Mr. Puig and the ridiculous head-hunting:
Dodger closer Kenley Jansen who inherited the job again today and got the save:
Dodger reliever Ronald Belisario who didn’t get on the scorecard but won his part in the biggest brawl and could be getting a call from the Commish’s office later:
And finally Dodger utility specialist Jerry Hairston, Jr. who I just had to get comments from just before his beloved Chicago Blackhawks get their final series going tomorrow night for Lord Stanley’s Cup:
Normally I’m often the last reporter-type to leave the pressbox and it’s certainly empty by midnight. But tonight I counted 25 of us still pounding away on our laptops after 12:15am…some stories are just bigger than most and the extra scuffles made this one a headliner!