Friday, April 12, 2013
The back story of Thursday's brawl
By Mark Saxon
According to reporters on the scene, the hostilities between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres didn't end after the game. As the teams were exiting Petco Park, Matt Kemp and Carlos Quentin ran into one another and soon were nose-to-nose. Teammates had to separate them and escort them out of the building.
The Dodgers, of course, were furious that Quentin charged the mound and, it turns out, broke No. 2 starter Zack Greinke's left collarbone in the sixth inning of a 3-2 Dodgers win. But Quentin undoubtedly had the following events (compiled by the people at ESPN Stats and Info) in his mind when things boiled over:
July 18, 2008: With two on in the bottom of the first, Greinke hit Quentin to load the bases, and the White Sox went on to score five runs that inning. Quentin then led off the second inning and homered to left field. Quentin singled off Greinke later in the game and faced him twice more that year without incident.
April 8, 2009: In their first meeting the next year, Quentin struck out in the bottom of the first, in an at-bat that included a high-and-tight pitch. Greinke then hit him between the shoulders in the fourth inning. Quentin took a step toward the mound before plate umpire Bill Hohn jumped in front of him. Greinke said afterward, "The first at-bat kind of scared me because you never want to do that to anyone. It happens. You hit guys sometimes."
April 9, 2013: In the first game of this series, Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario hit Quentin with a high and tight fastball, on the right wrist. Quentin had to leave that game and missed the next one recovering from the bruise. He’ll have some more time to rest while serving the suspension he’s sure to receive.
* Getting hit shouldn’t be too surprising to Quentin, he led MLB in HBP in both 2011 (23, in 118 games) and 2012 (17, in 86 games), and he's been hit 116 times in his career (seventh among active players).
Fewest PA per HBP Since 2006, Min. 20 HBP
Carlos Quentin<< 24.1
Reed Johnson 30.0
Chase Utley 30.7
Ryan Garko 31.8
>>Rookie season was 2006
Another statistic of note: Greinke is the fourth pitcher to hit Quentin three or more times, joining Nick Blackburn (who’s hit him four times), Erik Bedard and Jon Lester. Eighteen pitchers in total have hit Quentin at least twice in his career. From the Dodgers' standpoint, he picked an awful time to finally snap.