PHOENIX — A day later, the events, or rather the three pitches, that occurred in the top of the seventh inning still reverberated around baseball.
Did rookie reliever Evan Marshall intentionally hit Ryan Braun?
The Arizona Diamondbacks deny the charge.
The Milwaukee Brewers believe otherwise.
“Do you guys want to talk about the game today or do we just want to rehash what happened last night?” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson asked reporters during his pregame media session on Wednesday.
Marshall’s first pitch sailed behind Braun. His second offering drilled the Brewers right fielder in his left side to load the bases with one out and the Diamondbacks clinging to a 4-3 lead.
“Everybody understands it’s the game. Let’s move on,” Gibson said.
Marshall was immediately ejected. His replacement, Brad Ziegler, then immediately served up his first career grand slam, a ball crushed by Jonathan Lucroy on to the concourse in left-center field to help lead the Brewers to a 7-5 victory, their second straight in the four-game series.
“It’s part of the game. We’ve moved on,” Gibson said.
Okay, but the surrounding noise has not.
The issue has become a hot topic, not only locally but nationally as well.
“It happens every game that’s played. It can crop up,” Gibson said. “Intentional, not intentional you’re trying to come in on a guy and (the ball) gets away from you. I’ll give (Kyle) Lohse the benefit of the doubt. (The pitch that nailed Chris Owings in the shoulder the half-inning prior) got away from him. Who says it didn’t get from Marshall? I mean he’s throwing the ball inside. Braun, you throw it out over the plate he’s going to crush it.
“One of the things this team has had trouble doing is getting the ball inside and making sure they miss inside. It has been a problem.”
But might there also be a problem between the two teams? After all it was the Brewers who eliminated the Diamondbacks in the 2011 playoffs.
“I don’t think there’s bad blood between these teams,” Gibson said. “I think we’ve always played those guys hard and they’ve played us hard and we’re going to that again tonight. Since when haven’t we’ve done that?”
Gibson insisted, rather emphatically, his past comments about Braun and his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs did not play a factor.
“That’s not right,” he said. “Let’s move on.”
And what about that fist bump as Marshall entered the dugout?
“Let’s just move on from the incident,” Gibson said. “It’s over, okay?”