I hope Evan Marshall, Kirk Gibson and the rest of the Arizona Diamondbacks are happy. Gibby, Marshall and the Chase Field fans were all giddy after Marshall plunked Ryan Braun and was subsequently ejected by home plate umpire Ted Barrett. Unfortunately, all of the guilty parties forgot one important thing: win the baseball game. Jonathan Lucroy certainly didn’t forget what the object was. He smacked a grand slam off Brad Ziegler to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 7-5, come-from-behind victory over the Snakes who are now a resounding 30-44.
Whether or not you believe Brewer pitchers, Kyle Lohse in particular, were throwing at D’backs hitters is irrelevant. There is a time and place to retaliate if you believe there was intent. However, with a 4-3 lead, two runners on base and having lost six of eight, how in the world do you justify intentionally (because that’s what it was) hitting a guy to load the bases? I don’t care if it’s Ryan Braun and you have some vendetta against him for his previous actions with regards to lying about PED use. If they wanted to send a message to Braun, why not the previous night when the score was 7-3 in the ninth inning? It’s a complete joke that after Marshall got back to the dugout, Gibson congratulated him as if he just struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. All the rookie did was basically lose the game after giving up a single, a double and hitting Braun. Lucroy summed it up best, as told to Steve Gilbert at mlb.com: “It’s ridiculous, and it’s overreacting,” he said. “To me, if they want to protect their guys, fine, but I really didn’t understand doing it right there in that situation. It is what it is. It worked out for us, and we’ll go into tomorrow.”
I didn’t know the Arizona Diamomndbacks were doing so well in 2014 that they could afford to mess around in a tight ballgame. I don’t know if Marshall was instructed to throw at Braun or he took it upon himself to play the role of judge and jury. If Gibby gave him some encouragement, then shame on him for not doing everything possible to get his struggling team a victory. If Marshall did it on his own, then shame on him for being a selfish teammate and putting his guys in danger of losing the game. Ziggy is not off the hook for giving up the bomb to Lucroy but his job was made that much tougher thanks to Marshall. Thus, a new chapter has been written in the sorry book of the 2014 D’backs.