I’ve spent the past few hours trying to digest what the hell actually happened in today’s game. It was, overall, too absurd to maintain to one post. So this post will consist purely as a breakdown to the crazy incident that involved three ejections, and almost a bench clearing brawl. A regular recap will come in the morning.
In the top of the fifth inning Jayson Werth was hit by a pitch thrown by Ian Kennedy. It was the second pitch he had been hit with this series, with the first bean ball forcing him to sit out a game due to elbow swelling. Werth was understandably upset, and gave Kennedy a dirty look. Home plate umpire Rob Drake warned both dugouts (which was strange) and the game went on.
Two batters later, Kennedy plunked Mike Morse. Despite the warnings, there were no repercussions, Kennedy was allowed to stay in the game. Counting previous games, the count for batters hit at this point was Nationals batters: 3, Diamondbacks Batters: 1. I suppose Drake believed it was not intentional, but if you’re warning a team for plunking three batters over a course of four games, you probably are expected to follow up on that warning with an ejection.
The next inning Jason Marquis, who was pitching arguably the best game of the season mind you, plunks Justin Upton the next inning, putting the go-ahead run on base. Upton falls to the ground in “pain” and Marquis is immediately ejected.
Marquis argued that the beaning wasn’t intentional because he wouldn’t want to put the go ahead runner on, although it looked pretty intentional to me. However the worst part of the play was the shameless flop by Upton, who clearly couldn’t have been shaken up too tremendously from Marquis’ fastball which averages 89.1 MPH. Jim Riggleman, irate, came on the field to argue and was ejected himself.
It was a shame to see Marquis out of the game after ha had allowed just three hits and no earned runs over 5.1 innings pitched and only 74 pitches, but at this point it seemed like things were finally square. While the Diamondbacks had hit three batters, the Nationals had hit just two, AND the Nats had a player ejected, both sides got their jabs in and one would think the whole issue was over.
Then in the top of the eighth Esmerling Vasquez replaced Kennedy and struck Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa in the back in a pitch that was essentially thrown behind him. Espinosa was irate and had to be restrained by Drake, and Vasquez was rightfully ejected. But what were the Diamondbacks thinking? Now they had plunked four batters, while the Nationals had plunked just two. The Nats had already had a player ejected, even though the Diamondbacks struck a player after the warnings, and the Nats had more players hit than the D-Backs. How could anybody justify hitting another Nationals batter? I just don’t get it. I’ve been trying to figure it out all day, and I just do not understand it.
Oh and Wilson Ramos hit a three run home run the next at bat, giving the Nationals the final word. Boom.