Overshadowing Cody Bellinger giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a walk-off win against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series was an exchange between Manny Machado and Jesús Aguilar in the 10th inning.
While running out a routine groundball, Machado dragged his left leg and clipped the back of Aguilar’s heel. The two had words for one another and both benches and bullpens cleared onto the field.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell and Christian Yelich were among those with pointed criticism of Machado. Yelich was particularly vocal, deeming the All-Star shortstop a dirty player.
“I play baseball,” Machado said. “I try to go out there and win for my team. If that’s their comments, that’s their comments, I can’t do nothing about that. I was trying to get over him and hit his foot. If that’s dirty, that’s dirty, I don’t know. Call it what you want.”
Machado had already drawn the ire of the Brewers, as he twice grabbed the leg of Orlando Arcia on two separate slides into second base during Game 3 of the NLCS.
While some members of the organization may not want to give Machado the benefit of the doubt, Aguilar had already moved on. The two appeared to clear the air when Machado reached on a broken-bat single in the 13th inning.
Though, Machado wouldn’t necessarily confirm as much. “What stays on the field, stays on the field,” he said. “Between the lines. We go way back. Whatever happens on the field happens in the field, stays between the lines.”
Aguilar deemed the situation a moot point in his postgame interview. Machado nonetheless figures to receive plenty of boos when the NLCS returns to Miller Park for Game 6 on Friday, and a potential Game 7 on Saturday.
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