The San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins got into a beanball war on Tuesday night, and it was over the stupidest thing ever: a player on Hunter Strickland’s ever-growing grudge list. What made it even more ridiculous is that it didn’t have to happen at all, but because the Giants pursued it, they put Buster Posey, one of their best players, at risk for an injury.
Tuesday’s beanball war
Lewis Brinson, the Marlins centerfielder, is at the center of this. He was the first one to get hit on Tuesday night when he took a pitch off his hip in the second inning. Dereck Rodriguez, son of Pudge, is the one who threw it. The home plate umpire issued warnings to both teams, which Marlins manager Don Mattingly came out to argue. And he had a point — the Marlins hadn’t done anything, and being warned meant that if one of his pitchers accidentally hit a batter, there would be ejections.
In the bottom of the second, ejections did indeed happen. And that’s because Marlins pitcher Dan Straily hit Buster Posey on the arm. Both Straily and Mattingly were ejected, and Posey escaped the incident without injury.
Mattingly essentially broadcast his intention to instruct one of his pitchers to hit Posey. As he was walking back to the dugout after Brinson had been hit, he turned to Posey and said “You’re next.”
Mike Krukow explains that Bochy was upset when Posey got hit because Mattingly looked over at Posey after Brinson got hit and said "You're next."
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 20, 2018
Strickland’s grudge caused his broken hand and all the beanball
This whole thing started last Thursday when the Giants and Marlins faced each other in Miami. They played 16 innings, with the Giants coming out on top, but their extra-innings odyssey began when Hunter Strickland blew the save in the ninth inning. Lewis Brinson hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game, and celebrated because he’d given his team a chance to win the game. It seems that Strickland (and possibly his teammates) didn’t like the celebration, because that’s part of why Brinson got hit on Monday.
Brinson got Strickland’s goat again on Monday night when he scored the tying run in the ninth inning. It was another blown save for Strickland, and the second off Brinson’s bat in four days. So as Strickland left Monday night’s game, he chirped at Brinson. But that was only the tip of the frustration iceberg, because later that night Strickland punched a door, breaking his pinky and putting him on the disabled list for six to eight weeks.
This is not the first time Strickland’s temper has caused problems. The Giants and Nationals got into a huge brawl in 2017 when Hunter Strickland yelled at Bryce Harper, because Strickland was holding a grudge against Harper. It seems like Hunter Strickland loves to hold grudges.
Will there be repercussions?
Since both Mattingly and Straily were both ejected, they’ll probably both get a fine, or even possibly a suspension. But there probably won’t be any repercussions for the Giants, who put their franchise catcher at risk of getting injured because Hunter Strickland was annoyed. Posey got hit on the arm, but he could have been seriously injured if the pitch hit him in another area.
To put any player on either team at risk over this kind of weak beef is monumentally stupid. It’s true that the Marlins didn’t have to retaliate and join in, but they didn’t start it. That’s the Giants fault, because Hunter Strickland was upset that Lewis Brinson lightly celebrated a game-tying sacrifice fly. Strickland isn’t even the one who threw at anyone, which is even more ridiculous. Beanball is risky and unnecessary, but hitting guys over a beef as dumb as this mind-bogglingly stupid.
H/N: Hardball Talk
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