Dodgers, Cardinals benches clear after Adam Wainwright plunks Yasiel Puig

It didn't take long for the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals to reignite their beef from last year's postseason. In the third inning of Friday's Game 1 of the NLDS, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright hit Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig with a pitch.

It took a second for tempers to flare, but when they did, both teams spilled onto the field. This benches-clearing moment was like most in MLB — a lot of players yelling at each other, some shoving and not much else. No punches were thrown. No players were ejected.

It wasn't Wainwright and Puig who clashed, but Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzalez and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. Puig took his base without incident. But Gonzalez started jawing as he walked to the batter's box. Before he even got there, Molina had come out of his crouch. The two of them got in each other's faces, with Matt Kemp and home-plate umpire Jerry Meals trying to keep the peace.

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)

Eventually, Wainwright went to Puig and told him the plunking wasn't on purpose. Puig accepted that, went to first base and the whole dust-up died down. It didn't seem like Wainwright would have hit Puig on purpose up 1-0 in a playoff game. He was just throwing inside, which he had done earlier in the game to other Dodgers hitters.

It's obvious, though, that there's still bad blood from last year. That all started in Game 1 when Hanley Ramirez was drilled in the ribs by Joe Kelly. Ramirez ended up being injured throughout the rest of the series, severely hurting the Dodgers' chances to advance.

In Game 3, Gonzalez doubled off Wainwright to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez then tried to pump up his teammates from second base. That caused Wainwright to remark about Gonzalez's "Mickey Mouse" antics. By the end of the series, a full-blown culture war had broken out between the Hollywood Dodgers and Classy Cardinals.

We'll see what the long-term fall-out is from Friday's fracas, but in the short-term, it seemed to ignite the Dodgers' offense. After getting hit, Puig came around to score on a Ramirez single. Then Carl Crawford doubled to right to score Ramirez and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. They added two more runs in the fourth inning and then chased Wainwright from the game in the fifth after taking a 6-1 lead.

The Cards, however, later found their own momentum — tagging Clayton Kershaw for eight runs in the seventh inning and taking Game 1 by a 10-9 score.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!