Benches clear after D-backs hit Carpenter
Altercation tense, but order restored between clubs
PHOENIX -- Edwin Jackson and the D-backs wanted to make it very clear that they weren't trying to hit Chris Carpenter on Wednesday night. Carpenter and the Cardinals, meanwhile, wanted to make it equally clear that the intent was irrelevant.
Both benches and bullpens cleared after Carpenter took great umbrage at being hit by a Jackson pitch in the second inning of Wednesday night's Cardinals-D-backs game. The verbal confrontation never turned into a physical one, and Carpenter said afterward that he regretted some of his actions. But he stood by his indignation at the pitch that hit him in the first place.
"I watched the replay," Carpenter said. "The catcher is setting his glove up high. They're trying to throw the ball up there, and there's no need for it. I hit .100. It's not like I can hit. Throw the ball down and away, throw a slider, whatever it is. It's different if you're Carlos Zambrano, Adam Wainwright, Dan Haren, guys that can hit. But throwing 95 mph, chucking balls up high, and never mind that you can't control it? Come on. He's missing by three feet. It's not right."
With a 1-2 count and one out in the top of the second, Jackson hit Carpenter on the left forearm, the second hit batsman by Jackson in the game. He also hit Ryan Ludwick in the first inning.
"It's baseball," Jackson said. "Things happen. The pitch just got away. It's not like I was trying to hit him on purpose. It is what it is. I know no pitcher likes to get hit but I didn't know the reaction was going to be like that. Like I said, I didn't hit him on purpose."
Upon being hit, Carpenter immediately turned to the Arizona dugout and began yelling. Players from both teams came to the fronts of their respective dugouts, and Carpenter took his time going to first base, but order was more or less maintained at that point.
However, when Skip Schumaker hit a double-play ball to shortstop Stephen Drew, Carpenter came in at second baseman Kelly Johnson standing up, and went straight to the bag. Arizona took issue with that, more jawing ensued, and the benches cleared as well as the bullpens. Carpenter blamed himself for the second dustup
"That was my fault," he said. "It was an unprofessional move. I shouldn't have done it. I told [Arizona first-base coach] Matt Williams at first to tell Kelly that it was unprofessional and I shouldn't have done that. I was in a position where I didn't control my emotions enough to not do something stupid."
The D-backs did not seem to have any major issue with Carpenter's conduct.
"Just turned it, and it's just competitiveness boiling over," Johnson said. "He obviously wasn't happy about getting hit and he was still fired up, he wasn't settled down yet. Once it's done it was done and there wasn't going to be anything lingering."
Carpenter sported a nasty welt not far above his left wrist from the plunking. He admitted that the incident affected his pitching for the next couple of innings. He was touched for two runs in the third and two hits in the fourth, though he escaped the latter inning without a run.
"I was struggling to control my emotions for a few innings, yeah," he said.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.