Dodgers: Yunel Escobar plunk that cleared benches unintentional (vid)
A bit of a ruckus broke out during Thursday’s Los Angeles Dodgers-Los Angeles Angels tilt at Angels Stadium when Brandon Morrow plunked Yunel Escobar in the shoulder during the eighth inning.
Escobar took issue with the pitch and the incident further devolved when both the benches and bullpens emptied out onto the field of play.
Order was eventually restored without punches being thrown or other such antics occurring. Two aspects of the incident, though, point toward the prevailing belief the plunking was arguably unintentional. First of all, the HBP loaded the bases and put the tying run at home plate. Sure, the Dodgers had the game well in hand, but a couple of clutch hits and the 6-2 lead could have quickly evaporated.
Secondly, Morrow and Escobar are former Toronto Blue Jays teammates. Morrow clearly was frustrated over hitting Escobar, and fellow Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tried to add a little perspective to the situation.
“I get it, you’re mad about getting hit,” Kershaw said of Escobar, via ESPN. “But read the room a little bit and realize we’re not trying to hit you.”
Escobar apparently believed the hit-by-pitch was in retaliation for how he reacted to being walked earlier in the game. But Angels skipper denied any sinister motivation on behalf of his pitcher or team.
“For us to even consider hitting anybody to put the tying run at the plate obviously makes no sense at all,” Roberts said.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who was warming up at the time of the incident, didn’t mince words in his assertion of Escobar’s antics.
“I think that’s stupid, man,” Jansen said, via the OC Register. “Nobody’s going to fight. Just the stupidity of major leagues, when it goes to a brawl like this. I wish this could be over with. If you want to go 1-on-1, go 1-on-1. You can meet somewhere else. Nobody’s going to fight.”
In the end, nothing too terrible came out of the brief, benches-clearing incident and the Dodgers went on to win by a score of 6-2 to earn a 2-2 split in the so-called Freeway Series. All’s well that ends well, as it were.