The San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins aren’t exactly heated rivals, but tempers flared this week after a series of hit batters resulted in multiple ejections.
It all started on Monday night, when a high and inside fastball from Giants closer Hunter Strickland knocked Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson off his feet (although it didn’t hit him). Later in the same at bat, Brinson would get a game-tying RBI single. On his way to first, he emphatically flipped his bat and shouted some trash talk towards Strickland. The Marlins would go on to win 5-4 on Monday, rubbing salt into the wound.
In the second game of the series on Tuesday, Brinson was promptly drilled in the hip by Derek Rodriguez in his first plate appearance. The umpire immediately warned both benches, but Marlins manager Don Mattingly — an old school ball player if there ever was one — reportedly told Giants catcher Buster Posey “you’re next.”
Mike Krukow explains that Bochy was upset when Posey got hit because Mattingly looked over at Posey after Brinson got hit and said "You're next."
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 20, 2018
Sure enough, Marlins starter Dan Straily promptly beaned Posey in the bottom of the inning. Straily and Mattingly were immediately ejected, since they had previously been warned. Surprisingly, it didn’t devolve into a bench clearing brawl like we usually see in this situations.
After the game, everyone started lying through their teeth.
“I just lost a fastball in,” Straily said, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “(I’m) trying to throw a fastball in and get him off the plate. Obviously, Andy thought it was on purpose, and so he got me out of there.”
Mattingly also gave a laughable answer when asked about the incident.
“I’m sure Rodriguez didn’t mean to hit Brinson and Straily didn’t mean to hit Buster.”
A reporter asked, “Do you really believe that?”
“Yeah,” Mattingly replied coolly.
As for the San Francisco side of things, Giants manager Bruce Bochy protected the shield a little bit by refusing to confirm whether Mattingly said “you’re next” to Posey.
Meanwhile, Posey was asked whether he thought Straily threw at him intentionally and responded with “I don’t know, but it sure seemed that way.”
Rodriguez also denied throwing at Brinson intentionally, which absolutely zero baseball fans believe is true.
The third and final game of the series happens Wednesday afternoon. You can expect the umpiring crew to keep everyone on a short leash.