Updated Jul 10, 2013 - 11:47 am
D-backs' Kennedy: Puig plays with 'a lot of arrogance'
Sure, there were two batters hit by pitches -- both thrown by pitchers who were central figures in the June 11 brawl at Dodger Stadium -- but Los Angeles earned an uneventful 6-1 decision.
Well, relatively uneventful.
In the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez lifted a high fly ball to deep center field. Arizona center fielder Adam Eaton stumbled and dropped the ball, allowing two runs to score and extending the Dodgers' lead to 4-0.
As the ball came into the infield, rookie Yasiel Puig, who had advanced to third, took off for home plate. D-backs shortstop Didi Gregorius threw a one-hopper to catcher Miguel Montero, who applied the tag while bracing himself for a collision at the plate. As Puig walked toward the Dodgers' first-base dugout, Montero gave the Cuban phenom a Dikembe Mutombo-style finger wag.
It was a strange sequence all the way around, but the weirdness was punctuated by Puig's decision to try and score after the play was almost dead. Aggressive? Sure. Ill-advised? Definitely. Even legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully had trouble understanding Puig's logic. "Why he tried to come in, you'd have to ask him," he mused.
Arizona starting pitcher Ian Kennedy seemed to take exception to the play, and Puig's overall style of play.
"He plays with a lot of arrogance," Kennedy said about Puig. "You see that, I don't know if it's probably against us -- he's a good player, but I see a little more against us.
"(Montero) looked at him, and (I don't know) if he was trying to run him over or what."
The incident in L.A. last month began when Kennedy buzzed a fastball up and in to Puig that grazed his nose. The rookie stayed in the game after a long visit with the Dodgers training staff. Montero was plunked in the back by a Zack Greinke pitch later on, spurring Kennedy to throw high and tight to Greinke, hitting him in the shoulder and igniting one of the ugliest brawls the sport has seen in some time.
Puig was actually the last hitter Kennedy faced Tuesday night, walking on six pitches to load the bases in the sixth. The last pitch was a 93-MPH fastball that was in on Puig, who glared at Kennedy as he made his way to first base.
Kennedy did hit L.A. shortstop Hanley Ramirez with a changeup in the top of the first inning. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson told Burns and Gambo Tuesday on Arizona Sports 620 that Kennedy needs to continue to throw inside to be successful, and the right-hander agrees with his skipper's sentiments, no matter how many feathers get ruffled.
"No matter what I do anymore, people are going to boo," Kennedy said. "I'm going to hit people. It's part of the game, it's part of pitching inside.
"Some balls slip, it was a changeup. Last game, I threw up and in, and it was a curveball that slipped out of my hand. I'm going to get booed every single time and I really don't care what the Dodgers think. To be honest, I really don't care."
The three-game series wraps up Wednesday night at Chase Field. The two teams will also meet seven times in September.
Vince Marotta, Co-host Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley to pitch in Australia, ‘still in the mix' to pitch in big leagues
- D-backs send Barrett, Stites to Minor League camp, option De La Rosa, Marte to Triple-A Reno
- Report: Diamondbacks to sign LHP Oliver Perez
- Site takes in-depth look at D-backs offseason
- Your nighty is in a knot
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday March 6How is the battle at shortstop going for the D-backs?
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday March 5How important is it for professional athletes to have good character?
- Alan Trammell, D-backs bench coach - Tuesday March 4D-backs bench coach Alan Trammell discusses Archie Bradley's impressive Cactus League debut.
- Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks pitcher - Tuesday March 4Archie Bradley discusses his first Cactus League start against the Rockies.
- Richard Justice, MLB.com correspondent - Tuesday March 4Is baseball held to a higher standard than other sports?
- Brad Ziegler, D-backs relief pitcher - Monday March 3D-backs relief pitcher Brad Ziegler discusses the upcoming season.
- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com baseball writer - Monday March 3Jerry Crasnick previews the 2014 NL West.