This morning we saw Bill Plaschke get the vapors over Yasiel Puig “clearing benches, raising tempers, risking everything” in “a first-inning plunking incident that nearly started a brawl.” This was bad, see, because the brawl could’ve injured someone or gotten someone suspended and represented an irresponsible loss of cool. Bad, Puig. BAD, BAD Puig!
On Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, imitating that long-ago barb with an inside fastball, a battling Clayton Kershaw proved worthy of winning the award that carries Cy Young’s name.
Although Kershaw will never admit it, his pitch that plunked the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra in the elbow in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ eventual 3-2 victory appeared to be a retaliation for Parra’s crotch-grabbing, home-run posing insult of the Dodgers on Tuesday night.
Kershaw was immediately ejected, and some might think his Cy Young bid was derailed, but I propose that it was cemented. At a moment where he would have been excused the greatest of selfishness, he threw one for the team. By hitting Parra, he had everything to lose but his teammates’ respect, yet clearly decided he would rather have that respect.
He also noted how important it was for Chad Billingsley to throw inside and hit some guys once upon a time too.
I would invite Plaschke to explain the differences in these situations, but I suspect he’s too busy yelling loudly on some ESPN show at the moment or preparing an acceptance speech for one of his many writing awards to be bothered with any sort of consistency on the matter.