The Washington Nationals sure aren’t feeling the so-called California Love. For the second time in nine days, they were in a middle of a benches-clearing situation, this time in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
This one didn’t lead to punches like the Nats-Giants brawl involving Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland, but tempers certainly flared and it featured another polarizing outfielder and another reliever.
In the center of this one was Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. Puig struck out against closer Koda Glover to the end the game, a 2-1 Nats win. Afterward, as Puig walked back to the dugout, he wasn’t happy about something Glover did or said. You can see Puig saying, “What?” to Glover.
Here’s another angle that show Glover say something to Puig. It looks like there’s an F-word and “dugout” in there, but we’re professional lip readers.
Koda Glover's got those Robin Lehner psycho eyes pic.twitter.com/88Eyh7FlCZ
— Thomas Pullano (@ThomasHPullano) June 7, 2017
Puig didn’t exactly charge the mound. Rather, he strolled up toward Glover. Before anything could happen, Dodgers first-base coach George Lombard rushed in to restrain Puig and Nats catcher Matt Wieters got in front of Glover.
After the game, there was no real explanation from either side, beyond the usual baseball machismo:
Koda: "Tempers flared a little bit. It is what it is. I don't have any hard feelings towards him. He was staring at me and I didn't like it"
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) June 7, 2017
People are bound to pile on Puig here, since he’s already hated by many baseball fans. But in his defense, it didn’t seem like he did too much wrong. He swung at ball four with a runner on second base and his team down a run — that was bad. But afterward, he was walking back to the dugout. What Glover did to get Puig’s attention puts him just as much at fault here.
Now we’ll see if the tempers roll into Wednesday when the Nats conclude their California road trip. They’ll face Clayton Kershaw, who generally doesn’t have time for shenanigans like these.
Nonetheless, the Nats are 7-1 thus far on their California road trip. So who needs California Love. They’ll take California Wins.
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