Yasiel Puig‘s last act as a Red will be his involvement in a benches-clearing brawl at Great American Ball Park during Tuesday night’s game against the Pirates. The two sides already have a history of bad blood, as their benches emptied back in April. (Amusingly, this would not be the only benches-clearing incident the Pirates would be involved in.) What happened on Tuesday night was on a whole ‘nother level.
Tension began in the bottom of the seventh with two outs when Pirates reliever Keone Kela threw a first-pitch 97 MPH fastball up and in to Derek Dietrich. Joey Votto wasn’t happy about that, exchanging words with Kela between innings. Home plate umpire Larry Vanover issued warnings to both benches during the break, to which Reds manager David Bell and his team took exception. Order was restored temporarily.
In the bottom of the eighth, Bell was ejected for arguing over a controversial strike call made by Vanover.
The Puig trade was announced on TV just as the top of the ninth inning began. Puig remained on the field while Jared Hughes took over on the mound. His first pitch to Starling Marte hit him on the hip. Hughes was immediately ejected. Amir Garrett entered the game in relief.
Garrett’s relief stint was subpar for himself and for the Reds, as he allowed a three-run home run to José Osuna, extending the Pirates’ lead to 11-3. After Kevin Newman grounded out, coach Jeff Pickler came out to the mound to speak to Garrett. Garrett and the Pirates’ dugout were barking at each other. Garrett threw his glove to the ground and charged the Pirates’ dugout by himself. He threw a bunch before he was swarmed by members of the Pirates as both teams’ benches and bullpens spilled onto the field. Along with pushing and shoving, more punches were thrown. Ultimately, Garrett, Puig, Chris Archer, Kyle Crick, and Francisco Cervelli were ejected from the game, as was acting manager Freddie Benavides.
The game ended without further incident 11-4 in the Pirates’ favor.
Expect many fines and suspensions as a result of this fracas, particularly for Kela, Hughes, Garrett, and Puig. The Indians have to be thrilled about their newest acquisition potentially being suspended for a week or longer.