Last night we heard that, before the Orioles-Mariners game, there was a fight in the Mariners clubhouse. At the time all we knew was that Mariners center fielder Dee Gordon had asked reporters to leave, after which there was yelling and the sounds of pushing and shoving and a lot of commotion.
Late last night after the game — which the Mariners lost — Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported that the fight was between Gordon and Mariners shortstop Jean Segura. The flashpoint: Gordon missing an easy pop fly in the previous night’s game. Why that led to a fight when the (a) the error ended up being meaningless, as the guy who reached on it did not score; and (b) the Mariners won the game is beyond me, but when you’re coming upon seven months of sharing close quarters and your season is slipping away I suppose anything can set off a fracas.
For what it’s worth, manager Scott Servais and everyone on the Mariners is playing the “what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse” card, and is saying that it’s all behind them, so we’ll likely never know why this particular error turned into a fight.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.