The story of Friday night’s Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers game is not that it ended in a 3-2 victory for Arizona. It’s that the benches clear after all was said and done, and the D-backs had secured the win.
It all started with a controversial call in the 11th inning with the Dodgers up at bat and trailing 3-2. A.J. Pollock thought he was hit on the wrist by a pitch from Archie Bradley, but the ball — which looked like it may have hit the bottom of the bat — flew up in the air and the catcher gloved it for an out. The Dodgers challenged the call, but it was not overturned.
With no previous outs and a runner on first, a walk would have put Los Angeles in a very different position, but the call stood, and the Dodgers had an out on the board.
Watch it all unfold here.
Pollock had already made his way to first base when umpire Ramon De Jesus ruled him out, and the Dodger was visibly upset with the call, as was the home crowd. Pollock had words for De Jesus, but as he was expressing his frustrations, Bradley had some words of his own for Pollock, who he thought was taking too long to get off the field.
“I got him out,” Bradley said. “That was my whole thing, that’s where it all started, like, you’re out. And you’re sitting there arguing while I’m trying to pitch to the next batter in a save situation in the 11th inning in Dodger Stadium. This is a hostile environment, I’m trying to win and you’re still standing arguing after you’ve been called out twice. It’s nothing personal to A.J. at all. It could have been anyone in the big leagues.”
Pollack said after the game he lingered because he had “just got smoked in the wrist.”
“I don’t know what he was doing,” Pollock said. “Honestly, I’m walking, just got smoked in the wrist, no knob… Not going to go sprinting off and be all giggly. He didn’t like that. Tough. Whatever.”
The arguments stopped there without escalating and play resumed as normal. Bradley went on to strike Will Smith out, ending the game. The pitcher, clearly not over the argument from earlier in the inning, then pointed to the Dodgers’ dugout and proceeded to yell at the team.
“Then, the game ended and they kept talking,” Bradley said. “As a competitor, you’re only going to take so much before you kind of chirp back.”
The Dodgers did not see the situation the same way Bradley did. They were upset over his reaction to recording the save.
“Just hit a guy on the wrist,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “And he’s yelling at him to get off the field. Shut your mouth and get on the mound and pitch. Then, he closes the game and stares in the dugout. Like, worry about your guys, don’t worry about us.”
More yelling came, and as Bradley continued L.A.’s bench started to clear as players walked onto the field. The Arizona bench had already began to file out to celebrate their win.
No punches were thrown, but there were words exchanged and lots of pushing and shoving. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had to be held back from going at Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray, and Ray did not believe he should have been out there. It’s no question that tensions were high.
“It was somebody in shorts,” Roberts said. “Not sure who it was. If it was [Ray], he shouldn’t have been out there. I see somebody in shorts, wearing an Arizona t-shirt, that looks to me like staff. After you’re out of the game, in shorts, doesn’t need to be out there.”
Ray shared his side of the story after the game. “I was just minding my own business,” Ray said. “I was out behind everybody and I hear someone yelling at me, and I’m not just going to sit there and take it. I’m not going to just sit there and let you yell at me like that. If you want to do something about it, then that’s fine. But I’m not just going to wear it.”
He said he was ‘a little bit’ surprised that the opposing manager came out on the field. “I think maybe it’s a fake-tough-guy thing that he puts on for his team. But whatever. I mean, we won the game.”
The teams will have the chance to see each other again, with two games left in the series. With clear animosity towards each other after the events of Friday’s game, the interactions between the teams will be something to watch.