Matt Garza hit Andrew McCutchen twice last night. As Bill noted, that’s pretty unusual for Garza, a guy who doesn’t hit a lot of dudes. At the same time, it was a close, important game and Garza was ahead in the count, so it’s not like it made a lot of sense to plunk McCutchen on purpose in that situation. Call it a gray area, I suppose. And if you call it anything else, Matt Garza has some words for you:
“If people think I hit McCutchen on purpose with as 1-2 count in a game like this, then you’re just an idiot. That goes for the Pirates TV crew that kept insinuating that’s what we were doing. You’re an idiot.”
He added an “it is what it is,” thereby undercutting his point dramatically because, gosh, that’s an awful expression.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”