Benches clear in Cards-Reds game, La Russa and Baker get the boot

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Things just got pretty heated between the Cardinals and Reds in the bottom of the first inning.

Brandon Phillips (who else?) exchanged words with Yadier Molina behind the plate as he was set to lead off the bottom of the first inning, clearing the benches. They were quickly separated from each other, but things didn’t really go bananas until Scott Rolen went after his former teammate Chris Carpenter. Really.

There was plenty of pushing and pulling going on and Tuesday’s starter Johnny Cueto unleashed a flurry of kicks with his back against the screen, as you’ll see in this image, provided by MLB’s Twitter feed.

Oddly, only Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Reds manager Dusty Baker were tossed from the game, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

And if Reds fans didn’t hate Molina enough already, he slugged a solo home run in the top of the second inning to give the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead. Bad blood and pennant race baseball, folks. We’ve arrived. 

There have been three walkoff grand slams in the past week

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Last night Jason Kipnis led the Indians to victory over the Chicago White Sox via a walkoff grand slam. Such a beast is a pretty special, but lately they’ve been surprisingly common. Indeed, Kipnis’ walkoff slam was the third one in the space of a week.

Francisco Mejia of the Padres hit a walkoff salami on Sunday afternoon to lead San Diego over the Texas Rangers. Sal Perez of the Royals did the deed on Friday against the Twins.

As Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com tweeted this morning, there were only two walkoff grand slams in the entire 2016 season. Having three in a week is pretty darn cool, eh?