Memo to the San Diego Padres hitters: if a Rockies pitcher plunks you, I can almost assure you that it’s not on purpose. If a Rockies pitcher plunks you in a key moment, say in the 6th inning of a one-run game, then I can definitely assure you that it’s not on purpose. Remember who you’re talking about here: Rockies pitching.
Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa both pitch this weekend. The Padres, fresh off an ugly brawl, might still have chips on their shoulders (although presumably it is the Dodgers who are more upset). If any of that anger lingers and anything is going to go down with Chacin and De La Rosa, they need to show no shame and turn and run away. I am almost positive either of them could at least get far enough away, with a 60.5 foot head start, to avoid injury.
I do not mean to make light of what happened last night, and I hope MLB breaks precedent and punishes Quentin more severely for injuring Zack Greinke. But we have to at least acknowledge that this incident changes the tenure of the NL West, a division otherwise overlooked on the national level.
If nothing else there is some genuine dislike among some of these teams. The history between the Dodgers and Giants is well-documented. I would say there is tension between the Giants and the Rockies, but let’s face it, the Rockies are probably just kind of funny to the Giants right now. Now there is genuine bad blood between the Dodgers and Padres (who play one another again starting Monday).
And don’t forget the Diamondbacks, because they are gritty as hell.
Let’s just say that those otherwise sleepy late-night games on the west coast might have a little more edge this season. We’ll see how that plays out for the Rockies. Jon Garland takes the mound for the series-opener in Petco Park tonight.