A brawl -- an actual brawl, not one where a bunch of players stand around kind of shoving -- erupted between the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels Sunday in Anaheim. There were a decent number of punches thrown and lots of drama that meant baseball didn't resume for quite a while. Eventually, there were eight ejections -- six players and both managers.
It all started Saturday night, actually. A pitch sailed close to Mike Trout's head on its way to the backstop in the ninth inning. The Angels star was unhappy and said as much after the game.
"If you can't pitch inside, don't pitch inside," Trout said (via ocregister.com). "If you're going to hit me, hit me in the ribs. Don't hit me in the head. I don't know if that's the intent, but… anything at the head, you don't do that."
It's a common and reasonable refrain among players. Just stay away from the head when throwing a hard object upwards of 95-plus miles per hour. Mariners pitcher Erik Swanson said the pitch just got away from him.
Regardless, it seems to have carried over into Sunday.
Next inning, Wantz hit Jesse Winker with a pitch. It looked like Winker might take his base but someone from the Angels' dugout got his attention and then, it was on. Winker appeared to be arguing with Phil Nevin, the interim Angels manager. Winker and Mariners shortstop JP Crawford both threw punches during the benches-clearing brawl. Take a look:
As the umpires were attempting to sort things out, Angels closer Raisel Iglesias then decided to throw a container of sunflower seeds on the field, and it started things back up for a second.
"It didn't really matter what was said," Winker told reporters, including MLB.com. "They threw a ball over Julio's head, and I wasn't really trying to talk to anybody."
Expect suspensions, as there were several players who could be seen noticeably throwing multiple punches in that fracas. When the dust settled, the umpires ejected: Nevin, Winker, Crawford, Rodriguez, Iglesias, Wantz, Angels reliever Ryan Tepera and Mariners manager Scott Servais.
This is the eighth game in the last 11 days between the two teams. The Angels won four of five last week, but the Mariners have taken the first three games of this series.