In last night’s Dodgers-Padres game, a hit-by-pitch ignited a bench-clearing brawl that may have drastic, lasting repercussions for the Dodgers.
L.A. starter Zack Greinke, who signed a six-year $147 million contract this offseason to come to L.A., suffered a broken left collarbone in the fight and could miss several months while recovering. The exact extent of the injury has not been determined.
The fight began when Greinke plunked San Diego slugger Carlos Quentin, and after jawing for a few seconds, Quentin charged Greinke, who stood his ground. The two eventually found themselves at the bottom of a massive pile of players from both teams.
The pitch did not look intentional and only glanced Quentin on his arm, but the two have a history as Greinke has now hit Quentin three times, the pitcher’s highest HBP total against any hitter.
Quentin has led the majors in hit-by-pitches in each of the last two seasons, so getting nipped with a pitch should not be new to him.
Whatever the cause of this extreme outburst, it put his team’s rivals in a precarious position in losing a star pitcher that was supposed to help the Dodgers contend for a World Series run.
“That’s just stupid is what it is. [Quentin] should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something’s wrong. He caused the whole thing. Nothing happens if he goes to first base,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
The severity of the hit-by-pitch seems extremely mild as far as igniting a bench-clearing brawl goes. Combined with the fact that Quentin injured a star player could mean a hefty fine and suspension could loom for the slugger.