Arthur: The Reds-Pirates brawl was inevitable

From Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on August 7, 2019:

Last Tuesday, in a blowout loss to the Pirates, Amir Garrett of the Reds famously charged into the midst of a gaggle of Pirates and started throwing punches. Joined by Yasiel Puig, who was traded minutes before, it became a large-scale throwdown and resulted in six players and both managers being suspended.

It was the second benches-clearing scuffle between the two squads this season and, with six more head-to-head matchups yet to come, may not be the last. Between the incendiary tempers of the Reds and the high-and-inside pitching philosophy of the Pirates, conflict between the two teams was inevitable.

The root of the quarrel was a pitch from Pirates reliever Keone Kela that flew over Reds hitter Derek Dietrich’s head. Dietrich had pimped a home run back in April and Kela’s pitch appears to have been a retaliatory message.

“I’m going to tell you the truth,” Kela said afterward. “The reason I went up and in was strictly, one, to show my intent with my pitch and to pretty much let Dietrich know that I didn’t necessarily agree with the way things went down.”

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Originally published: August 7, 2019. Last Updated: August 7, 2019.