The Los Aneles Dodgers were well on their way to another sound victory over the Miami Marlins. Alex Wood dominated over 7.1 scoreless innings, and the Dodgers held a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Cody Bellinger extended the lead with a two-run home run. A.J. Ramos’ next pitch drilled Brett Eibner in the ribs. It wasn’t as though Eibner was crowding the plate; he simply wore one at Bellinger’s expense.
The message was clear and it triggered a chain reaction. Ross Stripling’s first pitch in the ninth inning sailed behind Giancarlo Stanton.
Stripling was immediately ejected, and both benches cleared onto the field. Marlins manager Don Mattingly wasn’t nearly as appeased.
During the scuffle he beelined to Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren. The two were locked in arms before being separated by players from both teams. Mattingly took umbrage with Geren’s actions as the dustup began.
“When he’s out there yelling at my guy, he’s going to have to go through me,” Mattingly said. “I’m not going to have that. When he’s going to start yelling at guys, it’s a whole ‘nother thing.”
Television cameras showed Geren shouting from the Dodgers dugout when Eibner was hit. He also appeared to have some words for Stanton as players and coaches met in front of home plate.
Ramos, who last pitched May 14, was adamant the ball simply got away from him. Stripling shared the same explanation. Mattingly, however, was much more poignant.
“If they want to actually count stuff, if you’re going to swing 3-0 and we have six outs left. … They can say it however they want,” he said. “But when you swing, 3-0, up 5-0 going into the eighth…”
The sequence Mattingly referred to was Corey Seager being given the green light on a 3-0 count in the seventh inning. Seager fouled the pitch off and walked two pitches later.
Including Saturday, the Dodgers and Marlins have two games remaining in their series at Dodger Stadium.
“Who knows? You never know what happens,” Mattingly responded when asked if he believed tension would linger. “It should be something that’s over.”