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Postgame: Pirates and Dodgers react to HBPs, ejections

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Justin K. Aller

Charlie already covered what happened in this game full of twists and turns. I'm going to focus on the postgame reaction to the exchange of HBPs between the two teams after the sixth inning tonight.

Everything started when Andrew McCutchen came to the plate with runners on second and third, two outs, three runs already in, and the Pirates leading 7-4. Jamey Wright threw a first pitch fastball that caught McCutchen on the shoulder.

"It's just one that got away, a lot of them [have got] away from me over the years," Wright said afterwards. "Not up and in like that. So I was a little frustrated and flustered after that."

After the Pirates scored another run on a wild pitch, Justin Wilson came in to pitch for the Bucs in the seventh. The first batter of the inning, Justin Turner, dug in and Wilson released a 98 mph fastball thigh high and in that  just missed Turner. On his second pitch, Wilson came inside again with a fastball that caught the Dodgers shortstop on the elbow. Home plate umpire Toby Basner immediately ejected Wilson. Clint Hurdle came out to argue the ejection and ended up also getting tossed.

"Pitching inside is part of baseball," Wilson said. "Guys do get hit."

Wlson was a little surprised there wasn't a warning given, but said, "You can't fight it after that."

Both Clint Hurdle and Don Mattingly were critical of the umpire's actions.

"Well, I think the umpires job is to judge intent, and, you know, there's a mound visit with McCutchen at the plate and a base open and a ball's thrown upper body, hits him in the shoulder," Hurdle said. "And, there was no intent judged on that, he goes to first base. Wilson's trying to pitch hard in. He always pitches hard in. They judged it was intentional. So they didn't want to heed a warning. They just threw him out."

"I understand that, I think we all understand what happened there," Mattingly said of Wilson hitting Turner. "The only guy that probably didn't handle it was the home plate umpire. He could have let that go and gave warnings and that would have been over."

Turner wasn't happy that Wilson went after him a second time after he missed with the first pitch.

"I was a little upset about the second one, because he had his chance to do and get it over with on the first pitch and he missed, then to do it again makes it pretty blatant," Turner said. "I don't think there is anything he can say to make it sound like it wasn't intentional."

Turner added that he didn't think Wright had any intention of hitting McCutchen.

"You know, clearly, I don't think Jamey was trying to load the bases. One just got away from him. And we talked about it [in the clubhouse], where do you draw the line? Anytime anyone in the middle of the order gets hit are you going to go hit someone? Some of their guys said, ‘Oh you just did it in St. Louis.' The difference there is there is a little bit of history of them hitting Hanley."

Turner echoed the managers, agreeing that the umpire should have issued an warning first.

"I think after he threw the first one up and in and missed, maybe a warning and snip it in the bud then," Turner said. "Then if he hits me an ejection can come, but there wasn't a warning, really. But like I said, he missed me the first time, you know, squared me up the second time. I think it was pretty obvious to everyone he was trying to hit me."

Finally, Turner said that based on what Russell Martin said to him, the Pirates' intention was clear.

"Russell Martin's response of, ‘Well, you hit our guy,' pretty much validated they were trying to hit me on purpose."

The HBPs came to a halt, at least for tonight, after Wright hit Martin with a curveball to lead off the top of the seventh. He was not ejected.

Stay tuned.