One pitch. That’s all it took to spark a brawl between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night. Before we can decide whether or not Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin overreacted to being hit by Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, let’s analyze the situation. The Dodgers were leading 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th inning when Quentin stepped into lead off the inning. The count ran full and Greinke tried to go up-and-in with a fastball on the 3-2 pitch, which caught Quentin on the arm. The initial reaction was just a quick turn and stare back to the mound, but then he suddenly dropped the bat and charged. It appeared that Greinke may have yelled something at Quentin before throwing down his glove and lowering his left shoulder to brace for the forthcoming collision with the outfielder. Did he overreact? Take a look at the video and judge for yourself: After the game, Quentin described it as an “unfortunate situation” for both sides. He told reporters that Greinke did in fact say something, but he didn’t disclose exactly what was said but called it the “final straw”. The details about the confrontation aren’t likely to get any clearer either, as Greinke refused to elaborate on what was said after the game. Meanwhile, Quentin pointed to the “history” he has with the pitcher to further explain the reaction. Greinke has hit Quentin three times over his career. The last time was in 2009, which by now would be considered ancient history by most baseball scribes.
Speaking of history, getting hit by a pitch is nothing new for the Padres outfielder, he has been 61 times since 2010 and has been plunked 116 times during his career. A fact that prompted Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly to accuse the right handed hitter of stepping into pitches. The skipper didn’t stop there either, he went to blame the entire brawl on Quentin, calling his reaction “stupid” and claiming the outfielder has “zero understanding of the game of baseball” during post game interviews. Things only got more interesting from there as Quentin was reportedly confronted in the parking lot by Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. Several other players were also said to be involved until police and security broke it up. Without knowing what was said, I can’t fully put the brawl into context. However, with what we do know and from what the video showed I think he overreacted. In that situation no one would intentionally put the lead off man on base to start an inning in a one-run game, and I think even Quentin knows that.
One thing I know is that this story isn’t over. The two sides will start a three game series on Monday and it will probably get uglier before it’s all said and done. Even worse for the Dodgers, the story won’t end until later this summer as Greinke will spend several weeks on the disabled list with a fractured collarbone.