On Thursday the Dodgers began a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks sitting in first place, 5 games ahead of the Giants. Unfortunately, the bats were not as consistent and the bullpen struggled in a 7-3 loss; however, something interesting happened in that game that Dodger fans have not seen in a while.
In the top of the 5th inning, Rich Hill squared up to bunt and ended up almost getting hit by Diamondbacks starting pitcher, Archie Bradley. Rich Hill shared a fair amount of fowl language to Bradley on his way to first base, which resulted in both benches clearing! There was no physical contact by either team, but tempers were clearly running high.
Here is what Rich Hill had to say after the game about the situation:
Rich Hill said pitch from Bradley hit his left index finger on bat. "No ill will" just emotion of the moment. #Dodgers
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 16, 2016
Thankfully, both teams decided to put the issue behind them and move on with the game. When Archie Bradley came up to bat, Rich Hill took revenge by simply striking him out. I say thankfully because there is no winning in this situation for the Dodgers. What will happen? Both teams try to prove that they’re the most macho and Rich Hill will get injured from an altercation with Bradley.
Do the Diamondbacks care? Absolutely not. They are 20 games out of first place and are struggling, tied for last in the division with the Padres. The Dodgers, on the other hand, are in first place, four games ahead of the Giants looking to make some noise in the postseason. We have everything to lose, the Diamondbacks do not.
Remember April of 2013? The Dodgers are facing the San Diego Padres and Zack Grienke beaned Carlos Quentin, which resulted in a benches-clearing fight.
The fight resulted in Zack Greinke suffering a broken collarbone and being out of baseball for a little over a month. That year Greinke went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA; who knows how well he could have done if it wasn’t for the month of baseball that he missed out on. Here is what Greinke had to say about the injury in an article on ESPN:
He said the injury was “awful. It’s silly that something could happen like that. I’m disappointed.”
This is why a fight between Rich Hill and Archie Bradley would have been utterly pointless and extremely risky. Since putting on Dodger Blue, Rich Hill has been absolutely dominant with a record of 3-1 with an ERA of 1.48. Hill didn’t even give up a run until his 4th start and only gave up 6 hits in his first 3 starts! He already has a history of blisters, why throw a broken bone into the mix?
The Dodgers are looking really good going into October. They currently sit at number 6 in MLB Power Rankings according to Yahoo Sports and are number 5 according to ESPN. Rich Hill will play a vital role in the postseason as our potential number 2 starter, right behind Clayton Kershaw; however, that is only if he stays healthy. He did the right thing in simply striking out Archie Bradley for revenge as opposed to going after him. What better way to show off to your enemies than with some new bling on your finger?