Early on in the Brewers' 3-2 win over the Pirates on Sunday, the two teams got into a little bit of a tussle. You see, Carlos Gomez hit a deep fly ball to center field that wound up going off the wall for a triple. Carlos Gomez, as Carlos Gomez is wont to do, admired his hit for a little bit, thinking it was a home run.
So, when Gomez reached third base, the only sensible thing for Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to do would be to approach Gomez and cuss him out for showing off a bit. Cole did that, Gomez took umbrage, and everything devolved from there.
At the end of it all, Gomez, bench coach Jerry Narron and Pirates outfielder Travis Snider were all ejected from the game.
After such antics, MLB will certainly be looking at video of the event and figuring out different punishments to levy on the players involved. Several will probably get fines, with a couple of potential suspensions. Gomez, however, will not go down without a fight (so to speak). He told Adam McCalvy following the game that he will appeal any suspension handed down to him for the above events.
Todd Rosiak has more from Gomez:
"I talk to the umpire and then Snider comes like a superhero and tries to throw punches at everybody. I just tried to protect myself. I don’t know why they’re mad for something like that. Tabata hit a double, pimped it, we don’t do nothing. McCutchen do it yesterday. Russell Martin did it. We no do nothing. We respect that – ‘You win, OK, enjoy it.’ We hit a double, we hit a triple, they get mad. I’m not apologizing for nothing I did today. This is my job, I’ve been doing it for eight years like that. They know I play like that. It’s not to disrespect nobody. So if they take it like that, they don’t like it, that’s fine, and I’m fine with it."
Gomez also had this to say, on whether there was history between he and Travis Snider: "I never had a confrontation with him, and I don’t think he wants that."
I don't think there was any one specific player at blame for starting the brawl. If you ask me, Gomez and Cole are at equal fault. Cole should have kept his mouth shut (after all, he did just escape with a triple and not an inside the park home run, like Gomez probably should have had).
But Gomez needs to rein in his temper a bit. Brian McCann challenged him last year, Cole this year. Gomez needs to learn to just shake it off. The passion that Gomez plays with is endearing and exciting. But he can't keep getting into scuffles like this. People are going to talk trash, Gomez needs to not turn that into something physical.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said following the game he would not be surprised if MLB indeed does give a couple of suspensions for those involved in the fight.
How long will those suspensions be? Hard to say. Last year, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks got into a pretty bad benches-clearing brawl towards the end of the season. Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy wound up receiving a 10-game suspension, the longest handed down since 2006. However, Kennedy is a starter, so it really amounted to him missing two games. MLB Network suggested Gomez could get 10 games for swinging a helmet, but I don't buy that. If he had been connecting and really going hogwild, then sure. But he made one motion to get at Cole and didn't appear to actively be using the helmet as a weapon.
My gut feeling is that Gomez will get a 3-4 games, but an appeal will bring that down to two. Martin Maldonado will likely get a couple for a hard hit he landed later in the brawl. Snider will also get a short suspension, while Cole will probably just see a fine.
Any suspension will likely mean Elian Herrera will get a chance to prove himself in center field. Logan Schafer was placed on the disabled list earlier on Sunday and is out until early May. If the appeal stretches, it's possible he could be back in time, but that seems doubtful. Herrera is the only other player on the roster who can play center field. Since being called up a few days ago, he is 0-6 with three strikeouts.