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The top 5 matchups in last night's Dodgers-Diamondbacks brawl

June 12, 2013|By Stephen Bailey
  • Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire gets in the face of Arizona Manager Kirk Gibson.
Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire gets in the face of Arizona Manager Kirk… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

In all the pandemonium of the Dodgers-Diamondbacks seventh-inning brawl Tuesday night, it was hard to tell exactly who landed a punch on whom. Lucky for us, there’s video replay (complete with Vin Scully live play-by-play: “No sense in calling out names. They’re all there.”).

Three different generations of ballplayers went at it in front of the visitors' dugout at Dodger Stadium after Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy hit Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke in the top of the shoulder. The brawl escalated, died down and then kicked back up again.

In a game that ultimately turned out to be a 5-3 Dodgers victory, the fight could serve as a therapeutic turning point for the depleted 28-36 team. A means of relinquishing pent-up frustration while rallying around star rookie Yasiel Puig, who was the first player beaned when Kennedy grazed his nose with a 92 mph fastball in the sixth inning.

“That was perfect,” Dodgers catcher Tim Federowicz said of the win.

So, without further ado, here’s your brawl breakdown of the top five individual matchups:

1. The hockey scrum -- J.P. Howell (Dodgers left-handed pitcher, 6-0, 190) vs. Turner Ward (Diamondbacks assistant hitting coach, 6-2, 200)  

Juan Uribe, Ronald Belisario and Skip Schumaker led the charge for the Dodgers as Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy was quickly ushered back into the dugout by teammates and coaches.

“It’s a dumb play,” Schumaker said of Kennedy hitting Greinke. “It should’ve been over with. I don’t know who called that. Kennedy ran to the bench soon after that, and we’re not happy about it. That’s for sure.”

It was Belisario who got the first shot in on Ward, 48, before Howell grabbed Ward's jersey from behind and landed two strong rights to the right side of Ward's rib cage.

Howell then drove Ward roughly 15 feet into the wall over the camera well and half-flipped him over, ripping his shirttail untucked. Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero came and hurled Howell off Ward, but the huddled Ward was quickly quashed under Schumaker and Montero as the brawl heated up.

2. The heavyweight bout -- Yasiel Puig (Dodgers outfielder, 6-3, 245) vs. Eric Hinske (Diamondbacks infielder, 6-2, 235)

While Howell, Ward and Montero were tussling by the boards, Puig charged head-on into Hinske and another Diamondbacks player, unidentified so far wearing a red team jacket, closer to the heart of the brawl. Puig shuffled backward slightly as Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez attempted to restrain him while Chris Capuano engaged with Hinske.

“I don’t know him many guys can take a ball off the face and still play,” Schumaker said of Puig. “So that’s huge. He’s the man.”

As Capuano and Hinske continued to grapple, Puig jumped back in and landed a powerful over-the-head chop to the back of Hinske’s neck. From there, Puig was soon pulled back out of the madness while Hinske remained inside.

3. The “it’s just baseball, really” fight -- Don Mattingly (Dodgers manager, 6-0, 175) vs. Alan Trammell (Diamondbacks, bench coach, 6-0, 165)

On the other side of the fight, closer to the first base coach’s box, a scene was flashing back from the mid-'80s as Mattingly grasped Trammell two-handed by his shoulders. The two former American League infielders twisted and turned, trying to take each other down. It was Mattingly, 52, who ultimately pushed Trammell, 55, onto his back before Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams wrapped up Mattingly from behind and walked him away toward the playing field.

“It’s just baseball, really,” Mattingly said. “As much as anything. I felt like it’s just baseball from the standpoint of Puig gets hit in the face, Montero gets hit and it’s over. It should’ve been really over at that point.”

Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman took Mattingly from Williams and tried to bring him back toward the team’s dugout across the field. Mattingly, however, was not going anywhere and worked himself back toward the scrum.

4. The Canadian doubles match -- Mark McGwire (Dodgers batting coach, 6-5, 215) vs. Kirk Gibson (Diamondbacks manager, 6-3, 215), Matt Williams (Diamondbacks third base coach, 6-2, 205)

As soon as Williams let go of Mattingly, he made his way over to McGwire and Gibson, already engaged. Chests bumping, face-to-face, this was already their second standoff after Gibson pulled McGwire back from the fray moments earlier. This time, Williams appeared to provoke McGwire, who was already yelling relentlessly.

At one point McGwire was grabbing both Gibson and Williams, one with each hand, as the trio barked back-and-forth. McGwire lifted the scruff of Williams’ jersey up above his chin, but no punches were thrown as the two elite 1990s power hitters ultimately separated and returned to the main crowd.  

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