LOS ANGELES — For the overwhelming majority of Friday night’s game, the story was the Dodgers earning a second straight win over a reeling Marlins team that has now lost 19 of their last 23 games. But the main postgame topic was a benches-clearing skirmish after a pair of errant pitches forged from decades of baseball tradition.
The Dodgers tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth inning on a two-run home run by Cody Bellinger, giving them a 7-0 lead. The next pitch from Marlins closer A.J. Ramos hit Brett Eibner, who homered earlier in the game.
No warnings were issued by the umpires. Ramos knew the script.
Ramos contended he hadn't pitched in 5 days, wasn't throwing at Eibner, ball got away from him.— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) May 20, 2017
In the top of the ninth, Ross Stripling started his second inning of work but throwing a ball behind the first hitter of the inning, none other than hulking behemoth Giancarlo Stanton.
“It was a first-pitch fastball in that got away from me,” Stripling said, sounding much more like a grizzled vet than a second-year major leaguer.
Stripling was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Carlos Torres, and the benches and bullpens emptied.
There wasn’t a ton going on in the scrum, though it lasted for a long time, mostly because Marlins manager Don Mattingly and Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren were jawing back and forth. Both were ejected.
"When Geren is yelling and screaming at our guy, he's going to have to through me."— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) May 20, 2017
“They were exchanging some pleasantries,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Two big men in the middle of that, but we worked it out.”
It seems the issue for the Marlins, outside of Mattingly not wanting Geren to yell at his players, came in the seventh inning.
Don Mattingly took issue with Corey Seager swinging 3-0 in the seventh inning of a five-run game.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) May 20, 2017
Seager eventually walked in that plate appearance but the seeds were planted.
Roberts said he didn’t think Friday’s kerfuffle would carry over into the weekend, and had more issue with that Stripling was the only player ejected.
“It was one of those things with Ramos, the ball got away from him arm side. The same thing with our guy. Benches cleared, and things were taken care of,” Roberts said. “For our guy to miss arm side like their guy did, I was a little surprise that Ross got ejected.”
For the most part, nobody is going to say anything to get them fined, so most of the postgame exchanges were predictable. It was the first career ejection for Stripling, and if there is any fine that ultimately comes with it, he won’t have to pay it, with multiple teammates offering to cover the financial penalty.
Stanton wasn’t hit by Stripling’s pitch and remained in the game. It should be noted that on a night that saw the Dodgers hit three home runs and saw Alex Wood put up more and more zeroes, the loudest cheer of the night was when reliever Chris Hatcher needed only three pitches to strike Stanton out.
Puig exits with back tightness
Yasiel Puig left Friday’s game in the fourth inning with back tightness. It is unknown whether he will play this weekend, though he sounded confident that he would.
Yasiel Puig said his back tightened up during B.P. He hopes he can play tomorrow or Sunday.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 20, 2017
"I'm not going to the DL...I want to go to the all star game" - @YasielPuig— Jesus Quinonez (@JesusQuinonezTV) May 20, 2017
The Dodgers go for a fourth straight win on Saturday night, another 7:10 p.m. PT start, with Julio Urias on the mound. Dan Straily starts for the Marlins.