So often, baseball “brawls” follow the same pattern: a batter gets hit by a pitch, some yelling ensues, players leave the bullpens and dugouts to mostly stand around and point fingers, and then the game resumes shortly thereafter.
The incident in Anaheim on Sunday afternoon was not one of those times.
Chaos broke out after Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker was hit by a pitch from Andrew Wantz to start the second inning. Winker immediately became agitated and began walking toward the Angels dugout when his teammates from the dugout soon followed, leading to an all-out brawl that lasted several minutes.
The tension goes back to Saturday night’s game when Mike Trout took exception to a pitch thrown near his head during the ninth inning. The three-time MVP aired out his frustration after the game, which Seattle won 5–3.
“If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside,” Trout said, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. “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.”
In the top of the first inning on Wednesday, Wantz’s first pitch to Mariners star rookie outfielder Julio Rodríguez went behind the outfielder’s head, leading to warnings for both dugouts. When Wantz hit Winker to begin the second, things got out of hand quickly.
In all, six players were ejected, three from each team: Wantz, Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Tepera for the Angels, and Winker, Rodríguez and J.P. Crawford for Seattle. Managers Phil Nevin and Scott Servais were also tossed.
Winker flipped his middle fingers to the Los Angeles crowd as he departed the field.
Winker apologized for the gesture after the game.
Iglesias, who was teammates with Winker in Cincinnati from 2017 to ’20, caused a further delay towards the end of the fracas by throwing a box of sunflower seeds onto the field. He later threw and kicked objects in the Angels dugout before eventually getting ejected.
The game resumed after an 18-minute delay, but there is certain to be further discipline issued by the league office.
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