The Pirates’ and Braves’ benches emptied in the bottom of the first inning at SunTrust Park on Monday evening. With a runner on third base and two outs, Pirates starter Joe Musgrove threw a fastball that grazed the uniform of Josh Donaldson. As Donaldson walked to first base, Musgrove appeared to be saying something. Donaldson took exception, turning towards Musgrove while yelling at him. Players spilled onto the field, causing a brief delay in the game.
Donaldson and Musgrove were ejected, as was Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. The Pirates, already short on starting pitching, had to go to the bullpen with two outs in the first inning. Alex McRae took over for Musgrove, striking out Nick Markakis to end the inning.
There is no known preexisting beef between the Pirates and Braves other than the Buccos’ announcer making some regrettable comments about Ronald Acuña Jr. We will likely have to wait until after the game to know exactly what happened. Ostensibly, Musgrove thought Donaldson could’ve gotten out of the way of the pitch, but he wasn’t exactly diplomatic in sharing his opinion.