While Ian Kennedy hasn't delivered many wins this year with his pitches, the Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher certainly sparked off the most unforgettable moments of the season and made headlines across the sports world with a certain 92 m.p.h. fastball he tossed last night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kennedy plunked LA's Zach Grienke near the opposing pitcher's noggin with the heater during the seventh inning, causing both team's dugouts to empty out onto the field at Chavez Ravine and engage in a gigantic rage fest and brawl.
It was one of five back-and-forth beanings from Tuesday's game and caused all the bad mojo that had been simmering to boil over. Expletives were bellowed, seething fury was unleashed, punches were thrown, and a close to a half-dozen were ejected.
Oh, and the Diamondbacks also lost 5-3 to L.A.
All the beanings and brawling made for what will likely go down as the most infamous game of Arizona's 2013 campaign. Up until all the drama, things were developing into another close game between the Dodgers and D-backs. Grienke and Kennedy kept things scoreless (with the Arizona pitcher scattering four hits and notching six strikeouts when he wasn't plunking opposing players) with Jason Kubel ending the 0-0 situation with a two-run homer in the fifth.
And then shit really got real.
Grienke had nailed Cody Ross to start the fifth inning, which gave the Diamondbacks outfielder a free pass to first base prior to Kubel's jack.
That alone should've been revenge enough, but Kennedy decided to drill El Lay's Yasiel Puig in the nose (causing the rookie to collapse into the dirt and get checked out for a broken proboscis) in the sixth. In a bit of poetic justice, Andre Etheir followed things up with two-run moonshot to score Puig.
Again, that should've been enough, but Grienke obviously wanted even more payback and caromed a four-seam fastball off Miguel Montero's shoulder in the top of the seventh. Then came the bottom half of the frame and all the fisticuffs.
See video of the brawl on the next page.
Once Kennedy tossed the fateful beanball at Grienke, all hell broke loose. While Captain Redbeard seemed to saunter casually towards the dugout as if nothing was amiss, a deluge of players from both teams poured onto the field. The Dodgers started rampaging towards Kennedy, likely wanting his head, only to run smack into a phalanx of D-backs.
Utter bedlam followed as the chaotic kafuffle unfolded, and pushery and shovery turned into blows as the Dodgers Stadium crowd screamed for blood. After watching the situation unfold on both television and the video clip above, it looks like both Ronald Belisario and Puig got in a few punches, including the wounded rookie dishing a haymaker-like pop to Eric Hinske in the middle of the melee.
Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell probably had the most epic-looking and oft-repeated dust-up of the brawl when he threw Arizona hitting coach Turner Ward around like a rag doll and nearly flipped him over the rail into the dugout while Skip Schumaker helped his teammate tag-team a man nearly twice their age with a headlock.
LA manager Don Mattingly also got into it, throwing D-backs' bench coach Alan Trammell to the dirt before getting wrangled by Arizona third base coach Matt Williams.
It was nothing when compared to raging done by Dodgers hitting coach (and former roid-head) Mark McGwire, who looked like he was pulling a Henry Rollins and popping out the veins in his neck while bellowing at D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson.
Damn. As all the baseballer brawling and battling making up the "Rumble in the Ravine" ensued, one couldn't help but be reminded of the immortal words of Anchorman's Ron Burgundy...
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Thankfully, neither tridents nor horses nor machetes were involved in the scuffle.
And nobody lost an arm but five were sent to the showers (including Kennedy, Gibson, Puig, and McGwire) by the umps. A few might lose some of their paychecks or get a multi-game vacay however, as Major League Baseball will likely lay down some fines and suspensions either today or tomorrow.
After things calmed down, Willie Bloomquist added a run with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning. However, Brad Ziegler relieved Kennedy and subsequently loaded the bases in the eighth with walks to Adrian Gonzalez, Juan Uribe, and Andre Ethier before Tim Federowicz's double added three runs to make it 3-5 and give the Dodgers the series win.
We expect that this evening's final round to the three-game series of L.A. versus Arizona won't be dramatic as the Tuesday night tussle between the teams, but we've been wrong before. Hopefully the D-backs can secure a win to protect their one-game lead in the National League West via the undefeated Patrick Corbin (9-0, 1.98 ERA). He faces Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-2, 2.72). First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.