The history of bad blood between the San Francisco Giants and Yasiel Puig continued Tuesday night.
Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder was ejected along with Giants catcher Nick Hundley after a bench-clearing incident culminated with Puig throwing a punch during the rivals’ matchup at Dodger Stadium.
The on-field spat between National League West foes happened in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the Giants ahead 1-0, San Francisco reliever Tony Watson had retired the first two hitters and was one strike from an ordinary 1-2-3 inning as he faced Puig. Down 0-2 in the count, Puig took a mighty cut at an 0-2 slider and fouled it off.
Puig’s immediate reaction after the swing was in apparent frustration at himself for barely missing big contact on the pitch, and the Dodgers outfielder emphatically flipped his bat from one hand to the other. Puig’s reaction appeared to trigger a reaction Hundley, whose comments directed at Puig sparked a shouting match.
As plate umpire Eric Cooper tried to intervene, Puig then shoved Hundley in his chest, and players from both dugouts raced onto the field. As Dodgers coaches George Lombard and Bob Geren among others tried to keep Puig and Hundley separated, Puig charged and unleashed a wild, open-handed swing that connected to the face of Hundley — who was still wearing his mask.
After a lengthy discussion by the umpiring crew, both Puig and Hundley were tossed from the game. Buster Posey moved from first base to replace Hundley behind the plate with Brandon Belt entering the game at first base for San Francisco.
With Puig removed, Austin Barnes came on to finish the at-bat, eventually striking out on a 3-2 off-speed pitch.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Hundley’s ejection, “I don’t get it, either. We’ll see what the (umpires) report says. You’re going to defend yourself.”
Cooper said of tossing Puig, according to KNBR, “Watch the tape. You’ll see why he had to be ejected.”
Cooper added of Hundley, per KNBR, “There was no delay. Watch the tape. You’ll see why he had to be ejected.”
The Giants and Puig have a recent bench-clearing history at Dodger Stadium, with three past incidents surrounding the Cuba native Puig and San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
In a May 2014 game, Puig launched a home run and admired his handiwork, leading to Bumgarner to angrily jaw at Puig as he finished rounding the bases.
In a later meeting that season in September, Bumgarner fired a pitch at Puig’s feet, igniting a bench-clearing fracas.
Two seasons later, after Puig hit a chopper fielded by the Giants pitcher, Bumgarner and Puig shot cold stares at each other after the out was recorded — with both eventually becoming heated, which again led to both benches running onto the field.
—Field Level Media