Brewers and Pirates Brawl Overshadows Late Inning Brewers Heroics
The National League Central is one of baseball’s toughest divisions. Last season three teams battled down the stretch for the division title and the two wildcard spots. Those three teams – the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds – are expected to do the same this season.
However, another club, the Milwaukee Brewers, has been thrown into the mix. The Brewers jumped out of the starting gate and own a 14-5 record after three full weeks of the season. The Brewers own a 3-game lead over St. Louis, 5 ½ over Cincinnati and 6 over Pittsburgh.
On Sunday, Ryan Braun hit a ninth inning home run to send the game to extra innings and Khris Davis homered to put Milwaukee ahead for good in the 14th, as the Brewers defeated Pittsburgh 3-2.
However, those two important home runs were overshadowed by the huge bench clearing brawl that broke out in the third inning.
Carlos Gomez the center fielder for Milwaukee, Travis Snider an outfielder for Pittsburgh and Jerry Narron a bench coach for Milwaukee were all ejected after words erupted into fisticuffs and a punch-filled brawl ensued.
The incident started when Gomez took extra time at home plate and then flipped his bat while watching his drive with two outs off Gerrit Cole the starter for Pittsburgh.
Gomez thought Pittsburgh would catch his ball, but it instead hit the wall and he reached third base.
Cole race to third after backing up third on the play confronted Gomez and the two exchanged words. Cole told Gomez he could not stand and look at a ball unless it was going out of the park. Cole’s comments were not received well by Gomez and when he took steps towards Cole, both benches as well as bullpens emptied.
Gomez said things had stopped when out of nowhere Snider arrived to play superhero and started to throw punches. Gomez said all he did was protect himself.
Martin Maldonado came off Milwaukee’s bench, punched Snider, and knocked his hat off. Maldonado said his teammates are family and when two guys were on Gomez, he tried to help him.
Snider and Gomez then shoved one another and Gomez went to the ground. Russell Martin the Pittsburgh catcher called the swing by Maldonado a sucker punch. He was restrained by Gaby Sanchez his teammate, when walking from the field.
Gomez during last season was also involved in another brawl after he argued with Paul Maholm the Atlanta pitcher while running the bases following a home run.
The league is expected to hand out suspensions to at least two players and possibly Narron, while more could be suspended as well.
The win was Milwaukee’s third straight while Pittsburgh has lost five of its past six and three straight.
Milwaukee has shown in just three weeks that the race for the Central division is no longer a three-way race, but a four-way race and they are out front and not looking back at the moment.