The Associated Press

Benches clear in NL Wild Card Game after Tony Watson plunks Jake Arrieta


Frustration is boiling over for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have played in three straight do-or-die National League Wild Card Games and look poised to drop this one to the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Jake Arrieta entered his at-bat in the top of the seventh inning having whiffed eight Pittsburgh batters over six scoreless innings. With two outs and nobody on, Pirates reliever Tony Watson struck Arrieta in the backside with a pitch that looked intentionally located.

Both benches cleared, and it was Pirates utilityman Sean Rodriguez who served as the most physical aggressor. He tried to throw a punch at Cubs backup catcher David Ross at one point, and grazed Kyle Schwarber on the miss. Here’s the video, though it doesn’t include the Rodriguez punch (er, attempted punch) …

Chicago is leading 4-0 in Pittsburgh in the top of the eighth inning.

Fan hit by foul ball during Sunday’s Rockies-Dodgers game

Harry How/Getty Images

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.”