While pitching for Kansas City against the Chicago White Sox on July 18, 2008, Greinke hit Quentin with a pitch near the left wrist, loading the bases. Then on April 8, 2009, Greinke hit Quentin between the shoulders in the fourth inning after throwing one high and tight during Quentin’s previous at-bat. Quentin took about a step toward the mound then, before plate umpire Bill Hohn jumped in front of him.
Quentin said Greinke threw a pitch over his head and the next pitch “directly at my face. If I don’t put my shoulder in the way it hits my face. … Last night I didn’t go out there until I was provoked to go out there.
“I saw an expletive followed by whatever you guys want to translate,” he said.
At its core, Thursday’s brawl was about baseball’s quirky decorum.
The game naturally has a tension between pitchers and batters over balls thrown over the inside of the plate, and sometimes that flares into disagreement over who “owns” the inside half. While the Dodgers were adamant that Greinke wouldn’t hit Quentin on a full-count pitch in a one-run game, some in the Padres clubhouse mentioned that Greinke usually has pinpoint accuracy.
Quentin’s rushing the mound was taking baseball protocol to the extreme, whereas in many other instances, the batter might gesture and yap while being escorted toward first base by the umpire and the catcher.
Quentin was hit by a pitch above the right wrist by Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario in Tuesday’s series opener and had to leave the game. He sat out Wednesday night.
The Dodgers weren’t buying Quentin’s explanation. So much so that Kemp confronted Quentin as they left Petco Park following LA’s 3-2 win. Big Padres lefty Clayton Richard stepped between the two, and police and security moved in to break it up.
“He wanted to approach me aggressively and I tried to explain to him but he didn’t want to listen,” Quentin said.
“I got emotional because first off, we shouldn’t even have been in that situation,” Kemp said in the clubhouse before his confrontation with Quentin. “People with good baseball IQs know that when you have a one-run lead in the sixth inning and it’s a 3-2 count, Greinke’s not going to hit you on purpose.