Ramon Ramirez drilled Shane Victorino with clear intent during the sixth inning of Friday's Giants-Phillies tilt, and then it was on. Benches cleared, coaches fought, fans cheered.
That would be San Francisco bench coach Ron Wotus pictured above, baring his teeth, probably lunging to bite Juan Samuel's neck. (Not sure if any bites were landed). Both Ramirez and Victorino were ejected from the game, as was catcher Eli Whiteside. Just watch the video and tell me you've ever seen a baseball player as eager to fight as Whiteside. Dude was hopping in place, popping his glove, ready to drop the first Phillie to emerge from the dugout ... which he did. Maniac. At one point, Orlando Cabrera was thrown from the scrum, then he dove back in.
It's not clear that Victorino ever had his vengeance, though he certainly tried. And his team won, 9-2, so that's something. (Vance Worley earned another victory, his eighth, striking out six Giants over 7.0 innings). We're going to see suspensions and fines here, so the full story of this lively brawl has not yet been written.
• Brett Lawrie made his MLB debut for Toronto on Friday at Baltimore, a where-were-you-when-it-happened event if ever there was one. He went 2-for-4 with a two-out RBI in the second. Lawrie hit ninth for the Jays, an insult that will not be quickly forgotten.
Yes, that's him in the image over on the right. And yes, he appears to have a Death Eater tattoo. If Lawrie is with them, then we truly cannot defeat the dark lord.
• In other debut news, Trayvon Robinson went 1-for-3 in his first big league action, which basically made him the player of the game for the Mariners. Seattle was shutout over 10 innings by Jered Weaver and Jordan Walden. Robinson made a terrific catch in the third inning of the M's loss, robbing Torii Hunter of a home run. Highlight here. The most impressive thing about that grab is the fact that the left field fans didn't make it easy. Watch the video, note the way Robinson fights off the big man in the red shirt. Well played, Trayvon.
You might recall that the 23-year-old Robinson was the prospect recently given away by the Dodgers, in the three-team deal that sent Erik Bedard to Boston. (No one seems to know what Ned Colletti was thinking there. He certainly didn't max-out Robinson's trade value). Over 100 games at Triple-A Albuquerque earlier this season, Trayvon hit .293/.375/.563 with 26 homers and eight steals. He's swiped as many as 47 bags in a single season in the minors, though he doesn't typically run at a high success rate.
• Hey, look, Tony Campana hit an inside-the-park home run. That's fun. Don't add Tony Campana.
• In case you were still holding out hope for Ike Davis ... well, don't. He'll be shut down for another four weeks due to that nagging left ankle injury, and he remains a candidate for microfracturing.
• Hideki Matsui kept his ridiculous binge going with a 2-for-4 performance against the otherwise effective Jeff Niemann (W, 8.2 IP, 4 R, 8 K). Matsui is hitting .479/.518/.740 since the All-Star break, with four homers and 20 RBIs. He's struck out just once in his last 12 games.
• The Padres put 15 runs on the board against the Bucs on Friday, absolutely mauling poor Jeff Karstens (3.1 IP, 9 H, 9 ER). Chase Headley went 2-for-6, belting a fourth-inning grand slam and driving in five runs on the day. Headley lifted his season average to .292. (Note: The .371 BABIP is helping). For the year, Chase is hitting .333/.403/.472 on the road, and just .244/.352/.333 in PETCO. So if the Pads ever decide to turn him into a trade chip, watch out.
• Lance Lynn earned a rocky save for the Cards (1.0 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches), with closer Fernando Salas unavailable. No obvious cause for alarm with Salas; he'd pitched 3.1 innings over St. Louis' prior three games. In other Cards news, the mildly concussed David Freese is expected to avoid the disabled list, perhaps returning to the lineup with a few days. Slightly unexpected, considering the history of the player (often injured).
• Yup, the Astros' lineup is still terrible. Yovani Gallardo won with relative ease, holding Houston to one run on four hits in eight frames, while striking out six. We've said it before and we'll no doubt say it again: Pick on the Astros whenever possible. Here are the upcoming probables: Chris Narveson on Saturday, then Zack Greinke, Daniel Hudson, Jason Marquis, Josh Collmenter, and Joe Saunders. You're welcome.
• Not surprisingly, Ubaldo Jimenez had a rough debut for the Tribe, facing the Rangers in Arlington. He gave up seven hits and five runs over 5.0 innings, striking out seven in a no-decision. You'll like Ubaldo better in his next turn, vs. Minnesota. As we recently discussed, Jimenez has dialed down the velocity this year, and shouldn't be considered an every-start fantasy ace.
Chris Perez blew the save for Cleveland, allowing ninth inning homer to Michael Young. Perez has given up seven earned runs over his last 7.1 IP, blowing his previous two save opportunities. Vinnie Pestano looks like the appropriate handcuff; he's struck out 61 batters in 42.2 innings this year, posting a 2.95 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Pestano took the eighth on Friday, striking out two batters, allowing one walk and no hits while picking up hold No. 16.
• Chris Sale earned a rogue save for the White Sox, protecting a two-run lead for Mark Buehrle. Seems safe to assume that Sale got the call for lefty-vs.-lefty purposes, since Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel were due up in the ninth. Sergio Santos hasn't allowed a run since July 10, so it's not as if he's scuffling. Heck, he was just priced at $20.
• The streak continues for Javy Guerra, who earned his tenth save in the Dodgers' 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday. Guerra struck out three Arizona batters in a four-out save. He's given up just two hits over his last seven appearances, his ERA is 1.69, he hasn't blown a save, and for whatever reason I can't find a buyer for him in my N.L.-only dynasty league. Strange. (Have closers, looking for prospects. Make me an offer, Bulldogs).
Photos via US Presswire