Gomez's slow HR trot sparks Braves-Brewers fracas
It was fireworks from the start at Turner Field on Wednesday night.
Atlanta and Milwaukee cleared the benches in the first inning of their series finale when the Brewers' Carlos Gomez hit his 23rd homer of the season and rounded the bases during a slow home run trot in the top of the first inning.
When Gomez, one of the top outfielders in the National League this season, homered off Braves pitcher Paul Maholm, Atlanta's players appeared to take offense to how long Gomez took to run the bases. Gomez and a few of the Braves infielders, particularly Maholm and first baseman Freddie Freeman, began shouting back and forth as the Brewers No. 2 hitter was in his home run trot.
By the time Gomez rounded the third, Braves catcher Brian McCann confronted the Brewers outfielder 10 feet up the third-base line for an animated discussion that brought every player, pitcher and coach onto the Turner Field grass. There was some pushing and shoving (and perhaps a few punches thrown) before both teams went back to their dugouts. Here's the video:
When the field was cleared, Gomez, Freeman and Braves catcher Gerald Laird, who wasn't in the starting lineup, were ejected.
There is some history between pitcher and batter here. Maholm hit Gomez with a pitch twice in his career -- the most recent hit-by-pitch came earlier this season when the two teams met in Milwaukee on June 23.
This is not the first incident the Braves have come across this season concerning players watching home runs.
First, it was Nationals star Bryce Harper who stared at a solo shot against the Braves on Aug. 7 before being plunked by Braves rookie Julio Teheran. A couple weeks ago, it was Marlins star rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez who caused a bases-clearing incident after watching his first career home run go over the fence in his final game of the season.
By the way, back to Wednesday's game, Gomez never touched home plate as the ruckus started up the third-base line, but the run counted because it was ruled McCann impeded Gomez's path to the plate.
Hopefully, Hank Aaron, who played for both teams during his Hall of Fame career, wasn't watching.