An errant baseball to the ribs and back sparked the first real bench-clearing brawl of the young MLB season.
At the bottom of the third inning Wednesday at Coors Field, San Diego Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo threw a pitch behind Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado and beaned the third baseman.
Based on Arenado’s body language when he was at-bat, it was clear he was anticipating something.
As soon as the ball plunked him, Arenado raged toward the mound, swinging his fists and yelling.
Perdomo threw his glove and tried to backtrack away from Arenado, but the pitcher still seemed to eat at least one solid punch.
Benches cleared as a seething Arenado seemed ready for more
At one point after the fight first subsided, Arenado was caught yelling something at Padres hitting coach Mark McGwire.
Arenado and Perdomo were both ejected. In addition, umpires decided to also eject Padres catcher A.J. Ellis, Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra and Rockies pitcher German Marquez.
It’s not clear what exactly sparked the whole ordeal, but it may be as simple as simmering bad blood between the Padres and Rockies.
HBPs in Padres-Rockies this year:
April 2: A.J. Ellis (Chad Bettis)
April 3: Christian Villanueva (Scott Oberg)
April 4: Jose Pirela (Jon Gray)
April 10: Manuel Margot (Oberg)
Today: Trevor Story (Luis Perdomo), Hunter Renfroe (German Marquez)
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) April 11, 2018
For those keeping track, that’s six batters hit by pitches in the last seven games between the two teams.
While the Padres and Rockies might not have been the first brawl of the MLB season, it’s one that had been brewing for a while.
That being said, there was nary a punch thrown in MLB’s first supposed “brawl” between the St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks.
— noah (@noahcb_) April 8, 2018
It was mostly tough guy posturing and finger-pointing between two mobs of people.
Both the Padres and Rockies are under .500 in the early part of the season. The NL West rivals are in a tough division and can’t afford to give up the ground they’ve been giving up, even if it is early.
For what it’s worth, Perdomo’s pitch seemed to have had the opposite effect intended. Arenado getting beaned only seemed to wake up the Rockies, who broke a 0-0 tie by scoring five runs in the third inning.
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