The Diamondbacks and Brewers battled it out in the postseason back in 2011 and Ryan Braun scorched them all series long. As it turned out Braun would be rewarded for his 2011 season with the NL MVP Award. It would also turn out to be discovered that Braun cheated his way to the award.
Arizona Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson has always been very vocal about the injustice of his team being eliminated by a cheat once the truth emerged of Braun’s PED use that season. And according to Milwaukee Brewers Jonathon Lucroy, Gibson is still bitter about it.
“I think they had a little vendetta going on over there, so if that’s the way he wants to do it, then let him do it,” Lucroy said. “He’s still bitter about that, but everybody else has moved on. We’re just worried about wining here.”
Over the course of the following two seasons after the 2011 postseason, no retaliation was ever taken by the Diamondbacks partly due to the MLB handing Braun a 65 game suspension in 2013 after being cleared previously once before of using performance enhancing drugs. Three years later Gibson finally got his revenge. Although it might have been at a bad time in hindsight, with the game in the balance Lucroy smashed the very next pitch after Braun got hit for a go ahead Grand Slam.
This may have been the start of a rivalry renewed. It all started Monday when Gerardo Parra was hit by a Wily Peralta pitch in the seventh inning of the Diamondbacks’ 9-3 loss. Before the start of the game on Tuesday, Gibson was asked by Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM regarding any forthcoming retaliation;
“What we talk about and what we execute and what decisions we make, we’ll keep to ourselves. You just can’t drill a guy like that but I think with Parra and the way he got hit, that was curious.”
And it continued Tuesday with the Brewers grazing Didi Gregorious and then drilling Chris Owings on the back of the neck in the 6th inning. That set-up Evan Marshall throwing at Braun just missing him and then hitting him in the back on the immediate pitch after. He earned himself an ejection and a standing ovation from the fans at Chase Field and his coaches and teammates in the dugout.
Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall weighed in on Doug and Wolf Thursday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM about his views of what happened and retaliation in general in baseball.
“You know it’s going to happen, but what scares me is the safety of our players. Any time you’re in a situation like that, you now that Braun is going to get hit. You know that Goldschmidt is going to get hit. I don’t want a superstar to get hurt because there’s retaliation going on. The reaction from the opposition is hit their superstar. I don’t like that, of course I’m worried. You’re going to go after somebody, but in baseball, I worry about it. If someone’s been hit already, and Goldschmidt’s on deck, I’m thinking ‘please don’t hit Paul. We know it’s a part of the game, it’s always been a part of the game. It’s something we’re all aware of, but you look now, there’s some severe penalties. What’s awesome about it is no one got hurt.”
They finished the four game serious with no other incidents or signs of an altercation. Milwaukee went on to win the last game taking the series three games to one. It was the last time the two teams will meet this season unless the Diamondbacks turn it around in the second half of the season and they meet up in the postseason. Arizona won the first series two games to one in Milwaukee on May 5-7.
Phoenix Sports-Kings Contributor, Manuel Childs