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How Much Will Suspensions from the Brawl Hurt the Los Angeles Dodgers?

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COMMENTARY | I think we can all agree that the brawl between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks shouldn't have happened.

If anything, it should have been over after Zack Greinke plunked Miguel Montero in the sixth inning. Greinke hitting Cody Ross (if the ball actually hit Ross) was clearly a mistake. The Ian Kennedy pitch that hit the nose of Yasiel Puig didn't seem intentional -- but everyone in the stadium had to know that Greinke would make sure the Dodgers repaid the favor.

And so, Montero got a free base and the benches cleared.

Even the most ardent supporter of old-school baseball and baseball's unwritten rules would expect it to end there. Of course, it didn't.

Kennedy again went high, this time hitting the shoulder of Greinke. Greinke just avoided being hit flush in the head.

And so, the brawl.

No Injuries

If there was one small bright side to the brawl, it was that no one was injured. With star players and key players (even the coaching staff and managers!) getting involved and the bad luck with injuries that the Dodgers have had all season, it is almost a surprise no one came away with an injury.

Puig and Clayton Kershaw may have thrown punches. True Blue LA thinks Puig did and SportsCenter played clips of Kershaw throwing (with his non-pitching hand) what appears to be a body blow. Luckily, neither one was hurt.

Suspensions Coming

If one thing is clear, some players will be suspended. The question is who and for how long.

The suspensions likely will come down after the Diamondbacks leave town according to Tim Brown.

Kennedy should expect to miss at least a start -- maybe two since he went at the head of Greinke. But if history is any indication, he will get a six-to-seven game suspension and will only miss one start.

The Dodgers are in a more precarious position. The bench is already depleted, with backups like Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker pressed into starting positions while AAA players like Alex Castellanos are the bats off the bench.

The name that should be of most concern to Dodgers fans is Puig.

Puig Could Miss a Few Games

Puig has been the hottest hitter for the Dodgers over the past week. According to numbers compiled by True Blue LA, Puig and Skip Schumaker are the only Dodgers hitting right now.

Even with his 0-2 night, Puig is still hitting .471./.500/.883. Last night's run on Andre Ethier's home run was the first time Puig has scored off something besides his own home run.

So Puig missing a few games would be very bad for the Dodgers' offense.

Pitchers Who Could Miss Some Time

Kershaw himself may be suspended, but it will be less than Kennedy. Greinke also may be suspended a few games for hitting Montero.

Kershaw is expected to pitch on Saturday. He will surely appeal any suspension and make his start this weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The same goes for Greinke, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday.

Other Dodgers pitcheres who could face suspensions are relievers Ronald Belisario and J.P.Howell. Belisario was throwing punches, even if he didn't connect, and Howell attempted a Royal Rumble elimination on Diamondbacks hitting coach Turner Ward.

Both are part of the struggling bullpen and if they are suspended, it would mean a short bullpen for a couple of games. Both have been effective at times and Howell has been used in increasingly higher leverage situations (likely due to lack of confidence in Belisario).

Manager Don Mattingly and hitting coach Mark McGwire can also expect to have a couple of days off -- and unlike players, they cannot appeal. Instead, they will serve their suspensions as soon as they are handed down.

Matthew Reichbach is a freelance writer and lifelong follower of the Dodgers from their minor league affiliates to the major league club.

You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @3_2count.

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