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The lesson from Tuesday's Dodgers-Diamondbacks game: If you hit rookie phenom Yasiel Puig in the face with a pitch, things are going to get ugly.
Puig was beaned by Arizona Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy in the sixth inning, setting off a series of confrontations between the two teams that led to two more hit batters, two bench-clearing skirmishes and five ejections. Also in the middle of the drama: Dodgers pitcher Zank Greinke, who famously pegged Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres, starting a brawl between those two teams in April.
After Puig was hit — which was a scary moment, no doubt about it — he stayed in the game. If things had stopped there, we'd simply be celebrating his toughness. Instead, Greinke pegged D-backs catcher Miguel Montero in the next inning. Benches cleared, but nothing really happened. A little bit of shoving, but nothing more than what we saw Monday night in the Red Sox-Rays game.
When Greinke came out to bat in the bottom of the seventh, it was a curious move. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had to sense that retaliation might be coming. Greinke had already missed a good chunk of time this season after getting injured in the previous brawl. Sure enough, Kennedy hit Greinke and the benches cleared again. Cue the video:
As you can see, this wasn't on the level of Padres-Dodgers brawl, but there were some heated moments:
• Puig in the middle of the fray, showing he was ready to fight for the team he's been with only a week.
• Mark McGwire and Matt Williams holding each other tight and McGwire looked like he was ready to change from Bruce Banner to the Incredible Hulk at one moment.
• D-backs first-base coach Turner Ward getting a whooping. When it was over, Puig, Mattingly, Kennedy, Turner and D-backs manager Kirk Gibson were ejected.
The Dodgers' Twitter account, which trolled the Padres hard during their fight, threw itself into the (virtual) mix this time too, with a nod to Gibson and the D-backs' "gritty" reputation:
Zack Greinke is gritty.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 12, 2013
Oh, and the game? It was tied 2-2 when all the drama went down. The D-backs scored once in the top of the eighth, but the Dodgers responded with three in the bottom of the eighth on a Tim Federowicz double to eventually win 5-3. There were no more confrontations, although Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis was hit in the bottom of the eighth. Everybody stayed in their dugouts that time.