Jun 11

Dodgers win game, possibly lose pointless war

Monday night’s loss by the Dodgers to Arizona was ugly. The Dodgers win on Tuesday night was ugly in a much different way.

A well-pitched game turned into a nasty brawl-filled one with a total of five six people ejected, including Yasiel Puig. It was a night when Dodger fans spent most of the night worried that the Golden Child was going to be taken from them on three different occasions.

In the second inning, Puig grounded out to short and appeared to have become the latest Dodger to succumb to the Hamstring Plague. However, Puig came back out to right field in the third and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Moving ahead to the fifth inning, Zack Greinke grazed Cody Ross with a pitch and Jason Kubel followed with a home run.

Then it got ugly, in the bottom of the sixth, Arizona starter Ian Kennedy came up and in to Puig and hit Puig in the nose with a pitch. Did Kennedy throw with malice aforethought? Probably not, but most home fans don’t look kindly on seeing their prized rookie getting a pitch near his head. That anger quickly dissipated when Andre Ethier followed the HBP with an HR to make it 2-2.

Greinke took matters into his own hand to fulfill the letter of baseball’s unwritten rules by hitting Arizona catcher Miguel Montero to lead off the 7th. The benches and bullpens emptied, but no one was ejected and it seemed, for a moment, that the famed “cooler heads” had prevailed.

But who was the Dodgers second scheduled hitter in the bottom of the 7th? Zack Greinke, whom Kennedy hit in the shoulder, although it didn’t appear to hurt Greinke at all. The benches and bullpens emptied again and the cooler heads were nowhere to be found. Puig and Ronald Belisario appeared to be going after anyone in gray and red. Mark McGwire wanted to get in on the action, but was kept away by Matt Williams, who was strangely one of the level-headed ones in the whole scene.

Fortunately, no one got hurt this time. Kennedy was ejected as was Arizona manager Kirk Gibson (automatically by rule). Arizona coach Turner Ward, who got tossed over a railing, was ejected along with Puig and McGwire. Also Ronald Belisario it was subsequently learned.

Arizona took the lead 3-2 in the eighth against J.P. Howell and Matt Guerrier and it looked like the Dodgers were headed for the lastest in a string of dispiriting losses to the Diamondbacks.

Adrian Gonzalez led off the eighth with a walk against Daniel Hernandez. Alex Castellanos, who had replaced Puig, tried to sacrifice (this will get worse) and was called out when he ran into his own batted ball. This sent Gonzalez back to first with one out. Ethier walked, and then, the Uribear walked to load the bases.

Ahh, the bases loaded. What could go wrong? Who was coming up? It was Tim Federowicz! And what happened? A double off the leadoff wall to score three runners. Of course. (Few things are more fun to hear than Vin Scully calling a three-run double, but he didn’t call out all the players names like he sometimes does. Probably because you can never remember just who is on the Dodgers now.)

New closer Kenley Jansen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. And there was great rejoicing in the land.

Until Joe Torre metes out some suspensions. And then all the folderol from Tuesday night will seem even more pointless. Ultimately, like the Quentin-Greinke affair, being on the “right” side doesn’t matter if you aren’t able to play at all. And a team like the Dodgers really don’t need to playing with even fewer available players.

The three HBPs by Arizona pitchers (Joe Paterson hit Mark Ellis in the 8th, but that did not warrant an ejection) was the second time they had done that in a week. Last Tuesday, Arizona hit Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter three times during a 14-inning 7-6 win in St. Louis. That was done by three different pitchers, all relievers.

Update: J.P. Hoonstra of the Daily News passes on AP quotes with Arizona reactions.

Update 2: Nick Piecoro of AZcentral.com has more reaction from both sides.