The Diamondbacks held on for a extra-inning win over the Dodgers on Friday, but any feelings of victory were likely spoiled by the bizarre benches-clearing dispute that followed the final moments of the game.
Tensions flared in the bottom of the 11th. With a one-run lead to protect, no outs, and a runner on first, right-hander Archie Bradley fired a 96.1-m.p.h. fastball that appeared to ricochet off of A.J. Pollock‘s wrist. Pollock moved toward first base following the hit-by-pitch, but the umpires and D-backs argued for the initial ruling — a pop-up deflected by Pollock’s bat — to be upheld for the out. After a brief review, the umpires confirmed the out, prompting Bradley to exchange some words with Pollock as the batter slowly walked back to the Dodgers’ dugout.
It didn’t take Bradley long to clinch the game after that. He induced a first-pitch out from Justin Turner, then struck out Will Smith on four pitches to finish off the inning. With the win unequivocally decided in Arizona’s favor, however, the reliever still couldn’t let Pollock’s apparent disrespect go. As he continued to point and yell at the Dodgers’ dugout, the benches emptied and players from both sides swarmed the field. Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts began jawing at starting pitcher Robbie Ray, whom he apparently mistook for a member of the D-backs’ staff, while various members of the Dodgers did their own share of finger-pointing at Bradley and his teammates.
While both sides eventually exited the field without escalating the situation much further, the whole ordeal turned into a he said, he said kind of thing during the teams’ respective postgame pressers. Via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert:
“I got him out,” Bradley said. “That was my whole thing, that’s where it all started, like, you’re out. And you’re sitting there arguing while I’m trying to pitch to the next batter in a save situation in the 11th inning in Dodger Stadium. This is a hostile environment, I’m trying to win and you’re still standing arguing after you’ve been called out twice. It’s nothing personal to A.J. at all. It could have been anyone in the big leagues.”
Pollock, meanwhile, maintained that he’d been hit by the pitch — a claim his teammates supported.
“Just hit a guy on the wrist,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “And he’s yelling at him to get off the field. Shut your mouth and get on the mound and pitch. Then, he closes the game and stares in the dugout. Like, worry about your guys, don’t worry about us.”
There are still two games remaining in this series, with another four scheduled for the end of the month. Whether or not the Dodgers and D-backs have plans to resurrect their dispute remains to be seen.