Archie Bradley’s pitch sailed well inside against Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill, who told reporters he was hit in the left index finger on a bunt attempt in the top of the fifth inning Thursday.
The umpires ruled it a hit, and the ball dribbled into the infield. Hill wasn’t amused, using expletives before he reached first base while telling the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher to throw the ball over the plate.
The chirping continued well after Hill was thrown out at first. Bradley barked back, and both the D-backs and Dodgers benches cleared without major incident in what would become a 7-3 Arizona victory.
“It’s just two guys playing the game hard, nothing more than that,” Bradley told the media after the game. “I was going in before he squared to bunt. Maybe the pitch was more in than it should have been.
“It’s the game so, sorry.”
Los Angeles’ Scott Van Slyke, who is on the disabled list after undergoing wrist surgery, tweeted his displeasure with Bradley’s pitch minutes after the D-back hit Hill.
Those are strong words.
But there’s a very public history that might lead Van Slyke to believe the pitch was intentional.
D-backs manager Chip Hale and Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt exchanged words on April 14 after Arizona tallied three plunks.
“I guess their pitching coach didn’t care for their guys getting hit,” Hale said after the game. “It was OK yesterday when our two guys got hit in the wrist, but tonight it wasn’t right – even though the last pitch Barrett threw was a slider. Pitching in is part of the game, we know that, but I’m not going to allow anybody from the other team to yell toward my dugout — whoever he’s yelling at — it’s not acceptable.”
Then, at the beginning of August, Hale complained about the Dodgers plunking second baseman Jean Segura.
“With Jean, the problem we have is it always seems to happen after he hits a home run, and that’s an issue,” Hale told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We’ve hit our share of Dodgers. The problem is I can guarantee you of those 10, we didn’t target anybody. Those are just balls that got away pitching in. I have a hard time believing the one Jean took was not a targeted pitch. That’s when it gets ugly.”
Of course, the tensions between Arizona and Los Angeles go back to the 2013 season over the same affinities to plunk one anothers’ batters.
Thursday after the flare-up in the top of the fifth, Bradley was third-up to bat in the bottom of the inning, but despite the build-up, Hill wasn’t about to get retribution. He still had plenty of pitches left in the tank.
Here is the Pitch f/x of Bradley’s pitch.
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