Dodgers-Diamondbacks Brawl Erupts After Ian Kennedy Drills Zack Greinke
In a game that saw relatively no action before the sixth inning, things sure heated up quickly. With the Diamondbacks nursing a 2-0 lead with one out in the bottom of the sixth, Yasiel Puig stepped into the box to face D-backs starter Ian Kennedy.
Kennedy went up-and-in to Puig, and his pitch hit the Cuban phenom in the face. Puig stayed down for several minutes, but he eventually put his helmet back on and headed to first.
Puig scored in the following at-bat on Andre Ethier's home run, tying the game at 2-2.
In the top of seventh, Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke decided that retribution was in order. With Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero leading off, Greinke wasted no time, drilling Montero with a pitch that prompted the first bench-clearing incident.
No punches were thrown, and order was quickly restored. But that didn't last very long.
Greinke was due up second in the bottom of the inning, and it seemed inevitable that things were going to escalate further should L.A.'s starter remain in the game.
Sure enough, after Luis Cruz popped out, Greinke stepped to the plate. Kennedy promptly drilled the former Cy Young Award winner up by the shoulder with a pitch that deflected off Greinke's helmet.
What ensued was an all-out brawl that even involved managers and coaches from both sides.
It took several minutes for calm to be restored, but not before Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, hitting coach Mark McGwire and D-backs third base coach Matt Williams got right in the thick of things themselves.
Not often do you see managers and coaches in the middle of the action, but it was obvious that with the principals involved, emotions were high on both sides.
Kennedy was immediately ejected, as was D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. Home plate umpire Clint Fagan had already issued warnings to both benches after Montero's plunking, triggering the automatic ejection for Gibson.
In the end, Puig, McGwire and Arizona assistant hitting coach Turner Ward were also tossed.
Here are your ejections from Dodger Stadium: McGwire, Puig, Kennedy, Gibson and Turner Ward.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) June 12, 2013
Blame of course will be thrown Kennedy's way for initially hitting Puig in the sixth inning. It doesn't matter that it may have been unintentional—Kennedy, after all, had 39 HBPs to his name since 2010 heading into Tuesday— because the Dodgers were going to protect their teammates and young star.
However, it should have stopped with Greinke's plunking of Montero. Kennedy took it upon himself to take it one step further.
There's no defending Ian Kennedy. None.— Dayn Perry (@daynperry) June 12, 2013
Sure, hit Greinke in the back or something, I get it. Not a fastball at his dome (second dodger hit in head TONIGHT). Ian Kennedy is a panzi— Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel) June 12, 2013
There is no doubt that MLB will be on top of this on Wednesday, quickly doling out what it believes is just punishment. But the league's actions, of course, can only do so much for the tensions that will remain between the two NL West rivals.
Though Puig tweaking his leg on a third-inning groundout was the big storyline early, it was the furthest thing from anyone's mind by game's end.
The two rivals now prepare to do it all over again Wednesday night in Los Angeles, with Patrick Corbin and Hyun-Jin Ryu set to face off in the series finale.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.
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