In the last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers have found themselves in the middle of a “beanball” contest more than once.
On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Jamey Wright hit Pirates’ outfielder Andrew McCutchen with a pitch in a disastrous inning that led reliever Justin Wilson to hit Justin Turner the next inning. Wilson was ejected immediately and Wright wound up hitting Russell Martin with a pitch the next inning with no repercussion.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, Turner had some words about the unwritten rules and beanball:
You don’t want to do any of that stuff, mess around,” Turner said. “Someone can get hurt. You lose a guy, that’s never fun. At the same time, it’s been part of the game. We try to protect our guys. You do what you’ve got to do. If something happens, something happens.”
The Dodgers are already down two players because of another hit batter incident in St. Louis over the weekend. Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez have been out since Saturday and Sunday, respectively, because of pitches hitting them in the hand. Both had negative x-rays, but have not been able to play in the Pittsburgh series. Luckily for Turner and the Dodgers, the utility infielder was not hurt; however, tensions could run high again in the rubber match on Wednesday.
Last season, the Dodgers were involved in a few beanball wars that eventually led to a full-on brawl against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Baseball has a long standing tradition regarding hitting batters that surrounds itself around protecting a team’s best hitters. Clayton Kershaw hit Matt Holliday on Sunday in St. Louis in order to protect Puig and Ramirez, who had been previously hit.
With both teams in a pennant race, the Dodgers and Pirates should remain calm tonight to prevent any suspensions from happening.
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