Giants, Marlins set for finale of heated series
SAN FRANCISCO — A beanball war between the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants has the potential to spill over into Wednesday’s series finale, with neither manager saying the book was closed after there were three hit batsmen and two ejections Tuesday night.
The ball will be in the hands of Marlins right-hander Jose Urena (2-8, 4.18 ERA) and Giants lefty Derek Holland (4-7, 4.48), with each team needing a victory to win the series after splitting a pair of emotional affairs the last two nights.
The Giants avenged Monday’s 5-4 loss with a 6-3 victory on Tuesday that featured Buster Posey hitting a home run and then getting hit by a pitch in his next at-bat.
It was exactly what Marlins manager Don Mattingly had promised when, in the top of the inning, he complained that both teams — not just the Giants — had received a warning when San Francisco starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Lewis Brinson with a pitch.
After a heated exchange with the umpires, Mattingly could be seen telling Posey, “You’re next.” Giants manager Bruce Bochy then jumped out of the dugout, having heard Mattingly tell the umpires, “If not tonight, then tomorrow.”
“I guess they thought they had to do something,” Bochy said of the Marlins, whose three-run, ninth-inning rally on Monday night included a key hit by Brinson, who celebrated by yelling at Giants closer Hunter Strickland on his way to first base.
On his way to the dugout after recording his fourth blown save later in the inning, Strickland walked near Brinson and the two exchanged words again.
Moments later, the emotional Strickland punched a door leading to the Giants’ clubhouse, breaking his right hand. He is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
The Giants suffered a similar injury last week in Miami when third baseman Evan Longoria broke a finger when hit by a pitch.
Despite the warning and already down 3-0, Marlins starter Dan Straily hit Posey in the left shoulder in the bottom of the second inning, resulting in the ejection of both Straily and Mattingly.
The feisty Marlins manager was seen patting Straily on the back as both headed down the runway toward the clubhouse after the ejections.
“There’s some fuzzy math going on,” Bochy said when asked if he thought Straily’s retaliation evened the score for the Giants plunking Brinson. “I’ve got a third baseman out 6-8 weeks. And I got a guy (Kelby Tomlinson) hit in the back (Monday) night.”
The veteran Giants skipper went on to say anything’s possible in the series finale.
“We’re men,” he boasted. “This happens in baseball. It won’t be the last time.”
Intention or no intention, the Marlins’ Urena has been troubled by hit batsmen this season, having already plunked eight batters, tied for the fifth-most in the majors.
He has faced the Giants three times in his career, twice as a starter, and has gone 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.
The Giants’ Holland, on the other hand, is about as unlikely to hit a batter as any pitcher in the game. He has plunked just one of the 306 guys he has faced this season.
Holland has pitched just once in his career against the Marlins, and it was a disaster. Facing a lineup that included Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton, Holland gave up five runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning while pitching for Texas in 2011.