Fights are not a frequent occurrence in Major League Baseball, but this week, brawls erupted on two consecutive nights.
On Tuesday night, during the second game of the series between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig was facing San Fran RP Tony Watson in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Dodgers trailing 1-0. Puig fouled off a pitch that was very hittable and was visibly frustrated, possibly yelling an expletive. Giants C Nick Hundley took exception and began jawing at Puig, which provoked Puig into shoving Hundley, sparking a bench-clearing brawl. Although the Dodgers coaches attempted to separate Puig and Hundley, Puig was still able to take another shot, slapping Hundley in the helmet.
Benches clear in Giants-Dodgers game with Nick Hundley and Yasiel Puig at the center of it. pic.twitter.com/r3ZHHdzL3A
— MLB (@MLB) August 15, 2018
— TᖇIᒪᒪ GᗩTEᔕ (@djhomicide) August 15, 2018
Puig and Hundley were both ejected from the game. The Dodgers were able to score a run to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, but the Giants scored another run in the top of the ninth and went on to win by a final score of 2-1.
After the game, Puig gave the following explanation through an interpreter:
Yasiel Puig (via interpreter): “(Hundley) told me to stop complaining and step back in the box … he just kept coming after me and kept complaining. I wasn’t going to let them disrespect our house.”
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) August 15, 2018
Giants OF Andrew McCutchen also provided his own lighthearted perspective on what it’s like for an outfielder when a basebrawl erupts.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 15, 2018
Tuesday night’s loss was the fifth straight defeat for the Dodgers, which has caused them to fall into third place in the NL West, 2.0 games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Wednesday, during the final game of a series between the Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, rookie OF Ronald Acuña Jr., who had hit home runs in five straight games prior to batting leadoff for the home team on Wednesday, was hit in the elbow by a fastball from Marlins SP José Ureña with the first delivery of the evening. As Acuña walked away from the plate grabbing his arm in pain, Braves coaches and players took the field, causing the other bench to clear.
The benches have cleared at SunTrust Park after Ronald Acuña Jr. was hit by the very first pitch of the game. 🤔🤔🤔
— Atlañññññta Braves (@Braves) August 15, 2018
Benches clear in Marlins-Braves after José Ureña hits Ronald Acuña Jr. in 1st inning.
Acuña Jr. (5 straight games with HR, 3 straight with leadoff HR) exits in 2nd inning. pic.twitter.com/V2aSu97YEX
— MLB (@MLB) August 16, 2018
Following the incident, Braves manager Brian Snitker and Ureña were ejected. Acuña remained in the game to run the bases but exited prior to the second inning. The Braves went on to win the game by a score of 5-2, sweeping the series.
Atlanta is currently holding first place in the NL East, 2.0 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Acuña has been important to their success this year, hitting .288/.346/.576 with 19 HR and 43 RBI. The team provided the following update on Acuña’s medical status Wednesday night:
X-rays taken tonight on Ronald Acuña Jr’s left elbow were negative. He underwent a CT scan and those results are pending and will be announced tomorrow.
— Atlañññññta Braves (@Braves) August 16, 2018