Yasiel Puig was hit in the left shoulder by a pitch from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright in the third inning of Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Friday at Dodger Stadium, inciting a benches-clearing argument between the two teams.
There’s a history. Puig and Hanley Ramirez — twice — were hit by pitches in the most recent regular-season series between the teams in July.
Last October, Ramirez was hit in the ribs by a pitch from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. After sitting out Game 2, Ramirez attempted to play hurt in the final four games of the series but was not a factor.
Friday, Wainwright brushed Ramirez back with a pitch in the first inning, provoking Ramirez to glare at the mound. Ramirez later lined out to third base to end the at-bat — and the first inning.
This incident was relatively tame. Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez both left the bench in an uproar. Along with Puig, they took turns shouting at Wainwright and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. Both managers and coaches from both sides successfully got between the yelling players, and the argument died down after a few minutes.
Both benches were warned, but no players were ejected. The most violent moment — if you can call it that — is when Molina shoved home-plate umpire Jerry Meals:
Puig later came around to score on a single by Ramirez. That tied the game 1-1. Ramirez stole second base and scored on a ground-rule double by Carl Crawford, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
Sunday, the Dodgers activated Arruebarrena from the 15-day disabled list and re-assigned him to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The timing of the move, one day after the brawl, suggests this is more than a coincidence.
Arruebarrena had not been performing badly at Albuquerque. He hit his first Triple-A home run Saturday — his slow home run trot might have provoked Reno to begin with — and was batting .351/.410/.486. Albuquerque is playing Reno again tonight and Monday.
A source with knowledge of the situation said there is no precedent for a player on a major-league rehabilitation assignment being suspended by the Pacific Coast League. Nonetheless, the league is reviewing the incident and is expected to discipline Arruebarrena. It’s unclear whether or not he would be required to serve his suspension while playing in a different league.
Guerrero’s rehab was transferred from Single-A Rancho Cucamonga today to Triple-A. The Isotopes are playing a game tonight in Reno, Nevada. It was in a game with Albuquerque that Guerrero had part of his left ear bitten off by Miguel Olivo in the visitors’ dugout in Salt Lake City.
“There’s a good chance had he not had the incident, he probably would’ve been here by now,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said.