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Diamondbacks intentionally drill Ryan Braun, give up go-ahead grand slam

Jun 18, 2014, 12:35 AM EDT

Evan Marshall, Ryan Braun

With 90 or so games left in the season, the Diamondbacks are playing for pride. And doing so pretty terribly.

Looking to get some revenge after Brewers starter Kyle Lohse hit Chris Owings in the helmet with a pitch in the sixth, Diamondbacks reliever Evan Marshall decided to throw at Ryan Braun with runners on second and third and one out in a 4-3 game in the seventh. He missed Braun the first time, throwing behind him. Instead of tossing Marshall for the clearly intentional pitch, umpire Ted Barrett merely issued warnings, giving Marshall another shot. The second time, Marshall hit Braun right in the butt with a 95-mph fastball, getting himself ejected and loading the bases. He also got high fives from the bloodthirsty Diamondbacks dugout, with manager Kirk Gibson being the very first to greet him.

What happened next was poetic justice. Jonathan Lucroy hit his second homer of the game off Brad Ziegler, a grand slam that gave the Brewers a 7-4 lead in a game they ended up winning 7-5.

The Diamondbacks’ response was a result of two pitches in the sixth. Lohse hit Didi Gregorius with a slider in the first, but the ball barely touched his knee. In the sixth, an 88-mph fastball got away from Lohse, hitting Owings in the helmet. Lohse immediately reacted by bending over and looking a little shaken himself. Lohse has very good command, of course, but it’s still hard to imagine the pitch was intentional, and Owings was fine, staying on his feet the whole time and remaining in the game. What happened afterwards may have been the bigger issue for the Diamondbacks: Lohse threw a curveball over opposing starter Mike Bolsinger’s head while the pitcher was trying to sacrifice. In that situation, Lohse was clearly trying to throw a high curve, preferably a bit outside, but he wasn’t trying to hit the pitcher in a close game, nor was he trying to send a message: he was just trying to throw a tough pitch to bunt and get an out.

The Diamondbacks, as it turned out, were less concerned with getting outs. Throwing at Braun to bring up the Brewers’ hottest hitter in a bases-loaded situation was asking for bad news. This is the second game of a four-game series; if Gibson and the Diamondbacks really needed to settle the score with the Brewers, they had plenty of time left to do it and not throw away a game in the process. But it seems proving the team’s grit and toughness matters more than wins and losses right now.

  1. Jeff - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    The you-beaned-my-guy-I-must-bean-yours is the dumbest thing in sports. Good job Tool Gibson, I’d say Lucroy had a pretty good rebuttal

    • zzalapski - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:07 AM

      An even better one would be the Brewers having a pool party after Thursday’s afternoon game.

    • jfk69 - Jun 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Kirk next job.Hockey coach

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    Gibson is an idiot.

    • hcf95688 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      Would have just been another afterthought without the corked bat in the ’88 world series

    • zzalapski - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:57 AM

      More germane to Diamondbacks fans, he’s an idiot managing the worst team in the league. Maybe they really aren’t that talented, but all this d*ck-swinging macho garbage doesn’t help him any.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:08 AM

        Exactly. And tonights stupidity cost them the game.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        It’s GRIT! :)

      • blabidibla - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM


  3. kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Gibson looks to have some health problems. Looked pretty frightening several times this season when speaking to the media.
    Trying to win baseball games whilst a manager is not worth killing yourself.

  4. mlbfan8898 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    This started last night when Peralta hit Parra and there was a bit of a stare down. This is baseball; you have to protect your team. So putting all of this solely on the Diamondbacks is misleading to readers.

    • zzalapski - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:04 AM

      Actually, that makes this display more pathetic on Arizona’s part. This is baseball; you have to be professionals and not let anything from a previous game distract you from winning the game you’re playing right now. So absolving the Diamondbacks of any iota of fault is laughable.

    • silversun60 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:38 AM

      How exactly does this protect his team. Specifically. Please share.

    • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      What part of throwing at the other team is protecting your team? If you throw at the other team, what is their most likely response? I’d say it is throwing at your guys. How is inciting the other team to throw at your players protecting them?

    • DJ MC - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Yet another example of the old adage: Two wrongs always unquestionably make a right.

  5. luz56 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    All day long they talked about throwing at Braun on sports talk radio in PHX… Indirectly Gibson spoke of it…. What a fu#%ing joke of a manager he is…listening to him speak you wonder if he’s got an alcohol or drug problem… If I’m MLB HUGE fine is in order after today interview on. 98.7FM

  6. mikhelb - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    “Instead of tossing Marshall for the clearly intentional pitch, umpire Ted Barrett merely issued warnings”

    That’s exactly what an umpire has to do, he has to give the benefit of the doubt, issue warnings in case it was not accidental, and if he throws again at the same batter the pitcher gets ejected.

    • sabatimus - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      The thing is, the ump doesn’t have to give the benefit of doubt. If he believes the pitch was intentional, warnings or not, he can eject the pitcher.

      But hahahaha this brings up an interesting theory: maybe the ump wanted Braun to get hit so that Lucroy could get a chance to make Gibson pay.

      • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        The ump is in a no win situation here. If he tosses Marshall after the first attempt, people will say he can’t read a guys mind and he over reacted, if he doesn’t toss Marshall and Marshall does it again, then people will say he should have tossed Marshall after the first one.

        In this case, obviously it was on purpose, but the only way we are certain of that is that Marshall was allowed to throw another pitch and got high-fived for hitting Braun.

  7. rhett16 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:23 AM

    Gibson is completely obsessed with Ryan Braun, I live in Phoenix and listen to the aforementioned 98.7 sports talk station. Gibson is on all the time and he has ranted about Braun more times than I can count. He really comes off as being a few fries short of a Happy Meal, maybe he should worry more about how to win some baseball games.

    He’ll probably be unemployed soon anyway though.

    • thepftpoetisacrossdresser - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      Yes he does…..rips him up and down on the ‘roids but wants to punch someone if they mention a corked bat he used for his last 5 years in the league.

      And yes…there’s evidence left and right and on YouTube of him caught with illegal bats a few times at the end of his rope.

      His jersey should say “D-Bag” on it.

      • sabatimus - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        You get a thumbs up just for your handle hahahahahaha

    • scoochpooch - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Gibson is obsessed when not letting a cheater get off scot free unlike the fans or most of the media.
      People here have to stop being fans and started thinking critically. So hypothetically, if you were the drug tester, you would be fine with his efforts to discredit you? I doubt it, such hypocrisy here.

      • lifer124 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Actually most of us have known for a while that the guy in charge of the sample got together with Braun and they got over their differences. What part of being suspended for half the season and having your reputation forever tarnished, being booed everywhere you go is getting off “scot free?” I mean yeah, he did all those things, but now he got hit in the butt with a baseball…justice is served.

      • uwsptke - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Yup, Braun sure got off scot-free. You know, other than that 65 game ban.

        Gibson is obsessed with Braun since he absolutely killed them in the ’11 NLDS and then tested positive during the NLCS against the Cards. That’s the origin of this feud.

      • DJ MC - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        I hope that the drug tester appreciates that effort enough to hire Gibson as his personal defender in a couple weeks, because such an obsession is likely going to make it very difficult to get future worthwhile employment in professional baseball.

  8. baseballisboring - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    I’m guessing they decided they were gonna aim for Braun no matter the circumstance. Oh well… I guess when you’re 14.5 games back winning or losing a game doesn’t matter so much. The last year or so for them has just been bizarre…

    • kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:44 AM

      That’s a good way to describe it. Even the GM had some pithy, pissy comments about players/teams. Bizarre indeed.

    • zs123 - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      You are all just blindly killing Gibson here because he is, admittedly, an idiot… In the situation it was the correct decision to put Braun on an open 1st base to allow for a double play or force out at home – of course it should have been done with 4 pitches high and outside, but the circumstances did call for him to intentionally be put on base.

  9. BDNsports - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    ok, so Lucroy hits two guys, almost hits a third (all with “good command”, as you put it), Peralta beans Parra last night, the Dbacks retaliate ONCE and from that you assess that the Dbacks are grit filled, blood thirsty idiots? I’m missing the logic in your extremely biased narrative.

    • cur'68 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:01 AM

      Ah…what? Lucroy hit a baseball. A long way. He didn’t throw anything at anyone.

    • sabatimus - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      Mr Miyagi: “Afraid facts mixed up.”

  10. kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    Never come across a manager so utterly obsessed with dictating a teams image with how he personally played and thought about the game. It’s to Gibson’s utter detriment most of the time.

  11. usm418 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    This is a National league thing. You have to consider the situation. Gibson blew it. He’s a better baseball man that this,hitting a batter helped his team lose a ball game.

    • sabatimus - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      Given Gibson’s managerial track record, he is definitely not a better baseball man than this.

  12. antaresrex - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:52 AM

    This may have started with yesterday’s game, when Gerardo Parra took issue with a HBP from Wily Peralta. However, it was 3-3 in the seventh, so I haven’t a clue why the Brewers would be trying to hit Parra in that situation. Combining that event with tonight’s, I still can’t figure why anyone would think the Brewers were headhunting.

    Then of course there’s the noise that Kirk Gibson has made in the past about wanting to have a word with Ryan Braun about what a jerk Braun is, or something, I’m not sure. I didn’t get to hear what luz56 was talking about above, but Gibson and others in the organization have been picking fights for the last two seasons now – beefing first with the Dodgers last year, now this. Clearly Gibson decided it was the perfect time to, I dunno, teach Braun a lesson. No idea if Braun actually took anything away from that experience other than a bruise.

    Of course, it was the worst possible time to do that. Gibson took a dangerous situation and made it even more so, for a guy hitting very well, in a hitter’s park, for no good reason, and obviously it cost them the game. The worst of it was the combined approval of both the Snakes and the fans (at least those in attendance). The fanbase (in part) has been infected – most appropriate word I can think of – by the attitude coming from the top of the organization. It’s not just Gibson’s mindset; Kevin Towers and Derrick Hall (the team’s CEO) are on board with it. The sooner they’re all shown the door, the better.

  13. maddog11896 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    My biggest issue isn’t them throwing at Braun, that was likely to happen this season. (On a side note, I’d like to remind everyone Braun was suspended for using a banned substance, not a PED just to clear that up) My issue is Evan Marshall walking back into the dugout and getting high fives and fists bumps from everyone, including the manager. That’s just downright stupid. I hope every one of them get’s fined some stupid small amount and they get a talking to about not being idiots. And last I checked, they had one of the worst records in baseball, they’ve got more to worry about then hitting players.

    It would really be interesting if 5 years down the line, Braun develops some sort of trauma contusion from being hit by that pitch. I wonder if he could sue Marshall and Gibson… just thinking out loud here, not saying I’d like it to happen.

  14. addlehead4 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    it was for them hitting parra last night. the announcers were talking about it before the game today

    • wick0926 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      It was a 3-3 game in the 7th. The Brewers are a first place team with the Cards coming on strong now…I am sure they were trying to intentionally hit him and put a guy on base. Come on this was clearly an ignorant move by a team going no where

      • zs123 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        Hitting him intentionally is stupid, intentionally putting Braun on base with 1st open to create a DP situation or force out at home in a 1 run game is not

    • sabatimus - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      So what? Still a jerk move by Gibson that wound up blowing up in his face.

  15. andreweac - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:38 AM

    Grit is more important than winning. Duh.

  16. mazblast - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:51 AM

    I’m sure the teams trying to catch the Brewers in the NL Central really appreciated the timing of this display of grittiness by the obviously unbalanced Mr. Gibson.

    • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      Yeah, I was rooking for Arizona in this one….until they hit Braun. Even as a Cardinal fan, I found it satisfying to see Zeigler and the D-Backs lose that one.

    • scoochpooch - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      I’m not sure if you are a Brewers fan, but if so, we all know how the season will end for them – without a WS appearance. Keep on hoping though.

  17. onbucky96 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    Typical D-Bag move by Gibson. Wed. is fight night in AZ. Get there early…

    • martygolfs - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Based upon last nights attendance good seats still remain.

  18. mlbfan8898 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:21 AM

    You’re obviously not a true baseball fan if you don’t know what it means to protect your team by hitting an opposing batter. So I won’t waste my time explain it to you. You wouldn’t get it anyway.

    • kiwicricket - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:23 AM

      Please do? I’m not a true baseball fan

    • blacksables - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      You should say ‘knowledgeable’ instead of ‘true’.

      A lot of people are true fans, they just don’t know a single thing about the game.

    • sabatimus - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

      I need a kleenex to wipe my eyes, I’m laughing so hard.

    • silversun60 - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      So explain it to me!! I’m obviously not a true or knowledgeable fan… I just heard about baseball 3 months ago and started following it last week…….

      That’s the problem with the “Protect your team” argument. Nobody can define it. Because it’s stupid.

      Do you REALLY think a pitcher stands up there on the mound and says “Well… I was going to bean this guy for no reason… but I remember last month when their pitcher threw at our guy because we threw at their guy (etc etc etc)… so maybe I’ll just throw a four seamer down the middle instead”

      • diannapearson - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        Retaliation is just part of baseball. It has been going on for a long time. It is suppose to build camaraderie with your teammates.

        Below is an article that may explain it better than I can.

        I am a D-back fan and I have been watching the D-backs get hit over and over again without any retaliation. AJ Pollock got his hand broken by a hit a couple of weeks ago.

        It is my understanding if a player gets hit in the head, the team almost always retaliates.

        Is it dangerous and stupid,? Yeah, but it is part of the game of baseball.

  19. zs123 - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    Clearly it’s dangerous and stupid to intentionally throw at people, and Gibson’s grit at the expense of winning approach is ludicrous… But to say that it cost them the game is flat out incorrect – intentionally walking Braun with 1 out and 1st base open is obviously the right play, given Braun’s ability to score the runner from 3rd and Lucroy’s 43% GB rate.

  20. papajack1259 - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    You should manage to win, at all times, in that situation bad move by the angry man Gibson.
    But the umps must eject these pitchers and the Manager at the first sign of intent, clearly that was not the case.
    As far as Gibson look at his record as a manager, truth is one lucky at bat in a world series against aleck who grooved one and he ain’t bought a beer since, look at the record.

  21. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Once again, a situation unnecessarily escalated into a bean-ball war due to MLB giving players the ability to police themselves. Every time one of these situations arrises MLB suspends the retaliating player and not the instigator. I expect nothing but small fines for Marshall and nothing at all for Gibson who apparently thinks it’s appropreate to high five a guy after he’s committed assault by intentionally throwing a fastball at another person with intent to injure. This is now the fourth of such incidents in side a month. Will MLB do anything to stop it? Not likely.

    • blacksables - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Why shouldn’t they police themselves? It happens all the time, in all walks of life, in all manners of occupation.

      Wouldn’t you rather work out conflicts with co-workers instead (or a rival company) instead of resorting to going to an outside agency to deal with it?

      I won’t say it’s always right, but I can say 90% of feel that way. Except when it comes to baseball.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Because when my co-worker and I have a disagreement, we don’t assault each other with baseballs thrown 95+mph while one of us is standing there defenseless.

        If the players can police themselves without escalating into violence then be my guest.

      • blacksables - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        I don’t agree with throwing at guys either, or at least anything but there ass. But ‘policing themselves’ is a very large swath of territory. And people aren’t complaining about just hitting batters. It’s everything.

        There is a reason the term ‘slippery slope’ exists.

      • blacksables - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Besides, why shouldn’t we handle issues ourselves?

        I would pay money to see the burger guys from McDonalds and Burger King standing and flinging day old patties at each other across a parking lot, using the cars for cover, and ketchup to blind them in the eyes.

        The winner gets to dismantle the drive-in speaker of the other for the day.

        People often complain about other people doing what we want to do in daily life ourselves.

  22. stex52 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    I caught the D’Backs against the Astros at home last week. If they are as bad as they were at Minute Maid, it may be all they have left is throwing balls at people.

  23. aaagary123 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    A point that’s being missed. Ryan didn’t play in any of the games last year against Arizona. Or the series in Milwaukee earlier this year. He was on the disabled list. So this was 100% about Gibson having his first chance to nail him in a game where he thought it was warranted by old school Baseball rules. It was an in game response to some of his guys getting hit. But was really more about Gibson’s hate of Ryan from 2011.

    • lifer124 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      That makes sense, but I don’t get the thinking on Gibson’s part. He’s still so upset about losing the NLDS, but having the guy get hit by a pitch will somehow make things better? Or maybe it’s just a consolation prize seeing how they aren’t winning anything anytime soon.

  24. chris3141084 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    It’s just like our foreign policy, send the troops in to show them how strong we are, then when they bomb us, we have to show them again, then they bomb us again, then we destroy their infrastructure and their historical knowledge of the past and then the children grow up knowing that they need to bomb us, because violence is how you solve problems.

    • tmc602014 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:29 PM


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