LOS ANGELES -- Not even Prince Fielder really knows what he might have done if a phalanx of security guards and teammates hadn't prevented the furious Milwaukee Brewers slugger from entering the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse after a ninth-inning beaning.
And nobody is sure how the Brewers and the Dodgers will react in Wednesday's season finale after Los Angeles' impressive 17-4 victory Tuesday night degenerated into retaliation, recrimination and a regrettable charge through the Dodger Stadium tunnels by the Brewers' All-Star first baseman.
The trouble started when Manny Ramirez was hit by a pitch in the seventh while Los Angeles had a nine-run lead, but it didn't boil over until Guillermo Mota was ejected for drilling Fielder with two outs in the ninth. Dodgers catcher Russell Martin acknowledged it was a response to Chris Smith hitting Ramirez with what appeared to be a much less purposeful pitch.
"It's just part of the game," Martin said. "Our premier hitter gets hit, and he gets protection. I understand [Fielder] is frustrated, but you don't take care of that after the game."
Mota and Fielder were teammates in Milwaukee last year, but the veteran reliever and the burly power hitter are no longer on friendly terms. Fielder took off for the Dodgers' side of the stadium after the final out, shouting obscenities all the way to the clubhouse door.
Most of the Dodgers didn't know about Fielder's march, since the door he reached is at least 30 feet down a hallway from the clubhouse. They'll all hear about it before Jason Schmidt takes the mound Wednesday.
"We don't want the same situation as last year in the playoffs, when Philly threw at Manny and we didn't retaliate," Martin said, referring to last fall's NL championship series against the Phillies. "We don't want to be known as a team that doesn't have each other's backs."
The late shenanigans marred Los Angeles' highest-scoring home performance in 30 years. Brewers manager Ken Macha felt Mota's two-out pitch could have added injury to the insult of a 13-run loss.
"[Fielder] has been hit a lot, but he digs right in there and doesn't budge," Macha said. "He just doesn't like when somebody does it on purpose. I don't blame him. Everybody's trying to make a living, and this type of mentality puts everybody in jeopardy -- myself, the other team, the players on the other team. So, to me, giving a guy a $500 fine and a two-day suspension is not enough. This type of stuff should be cleaned up."
Moments after his trek through the tunnel, Fielder had calmed down enough to reply sarcastically to questions. Macha said he planned to have Fielder in the lineup Wednesday.
"He came inside. It just got away from him," Fielder said. "It happens. That's baseball. He tried to come inside."
When asked about his postgame march to the other side, he deadpanned: "I don't remember that."
Ramirez ended his 10-game RBI drought with a homer and a two-run double during the Dodgers' highest-scoring performance of the season. With 18 hits and three huge innings with at least four runs, Los Angeles improved the majors' best record to 66-41 -- yet the late-game pitches overshadowed everything.
"I'm pretty sure our guy wasn't really trying to hit Manny," Milwaukee's Mike Cameron said. "I mean, it just kind of grazed him. But that's how they felt. That's what they thought they needed to do, so that's cool. We'll deal with it when we cross the [lines], but there's no concern for anything right now."