That was a brawl that seemed to come out of nowhere, although it might have serious, lasting repercussions for the Dodgers.
Zack Greinke, the Dodgers’ $147-million starting pitcher, left Thursday’s game after the ruckus in the bottom of the sixth inning, and at first it was unclear if he was injured or simply had been ejected.
The brouhaha started in the bottom of the sixth when Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin was hit by a Greinke pitch on the left shoulder.
Quentin, who has been hit by a pitch 116 times in his career, including once when playing for the White Sox and Greinke was with the Royals, apparently thought it was intentional. That’s despite it coming on a 3-2 pitch in a game the Dodgers were leading 2-1. It was four years ago when Greinke hit Quentin, who had to be restrained from charging the mound.
Quentin went the tough-guy route again and charged Greinke, who threw his glove down, and then the two sort of rammed each other with their shoulders before catcher A.J. Ellis tackled Quentin from behind. Then there was a pile in the infield as both benches and bullpens emptied. It appeared Greinke’s left (non-throwing) shoulder took most of the impact.
The hottest player on the field was Matt Kemp, who seemed to be telling Padres Manager Bud Black in pointed language not to touch him.
After order was restored, team trainer Sue Falsone was examining Greinke, who was making his second start with the Dodgers, while Kemp remained irate.
Whether it’s because of his slow start or the 0-2 pitch that San Diego starter Jason Marquis buzzed at his head, Kemp was still angry. He was complaining to the umpires and then gesturing to the Padres bullpen. When San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso stepped back on the field, Kemp started forward and both dugouts and bullpens emptied again.
Kemp was still one unhappy camper, and somehow it fell to pitcher Josh Beckett to try to push him back from any further fray.
After another lengthy period with both teams on the field, the umpires finally got things under control. They huddled and ejected Kemp, Jerry Hairston Jr. and, possibly, Greinke from the Dodgers, as well as Quentin.
If you’re the Padres, that’s called one sweet deal.
To make it worse for the Dodgers, the Padres ended up tying the score by scoring a run in the inning. Greinke went five-plus innings and was charged with two runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
And although Thursday was the final game of the series, it’s unlikely the two will have forgotten everything when they next meet .. Monday at Dodger Stadium.
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