The Arizona Diamondbacks have not been shy about adopting the motto: An eye for an eye.
For the second time this season, Kirk Gibson’s squad issued a perceived measure of retaliation for what it deemed prior unnecessary pitches thrown at one of its own.
With the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates leading 9-4 in the bottom half of Friday’s ninth inning, right-hander reliever Ernesto Frieri came up and in on Paul Goldschmidt, nailing him with a fastball on the left hand.
Goldschmidt remained in the game but was placed on the disabled list Saturday morning after a fracture was revealed.
Following the conclusion of Pittsburgh’s five-run victory, members of both teams came together on the field for a heated discussion on the matter — a situation prompted by Russell Martin’s attempt to apologize.
No punches were thrown.
Fast forward to Saturday evening’s contest — one in which the Pirates yet again managed to claim a hold of in the eighth and ninth innings.
Down 5-1 in the final frame and facing Andrew McCutchen with two runners on, D-backs right-hander Randall Delgado sent a 2-0 fastball right into the back of the reigning NL MVP.
The 95 mph pitch sent the Pirates center fielder to the ground and prompted home plate umpire Ron Kulpa to immediately toss Delgado.
After Delgado made his way off the diamond, McCutchen rose to his feet clearly upset about the bean ball and proceeded to spike his bat into the Chase Field dirt.
“The umpire made the call,” said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, who was ejected after arguing a review at the end of the second inning. “I didn’t agree with the call. I didn’t agree with him throwing me out. But that’s his call.”
Asked his thoughts on the pitch, Gibson suggested it simply was the result of poor command by Delgado.
“Guys get hit. It’s part of the game,” said Gibson. “It got away.”
Catcher Miguel Montero added that it was merely a case of working McCutchen on the inner half of the plate.
“If you look at it, if you pitch him middle, middle and away, he’s been crushing it,” Montero said. “If you pitch it inside, he just kind of rolls it over.
“We were trying to go in. We had a base open. If we walk him, we walk him. But I believe it got away from [Delgado]. It got him pretty good.”
The main culprit, Delgado, was pretty mum on the topic when pressed by reporters. But he too attributed the errant fastball to a lack of command.
“I was trying to work my corners more,” Delgado said. “I was trying to mix my pitches. I think maybe I didn’t have control tonight.”