HBP following Braves injury sparks ejections at Coors
Weiss livid over Dickerson being hit after accidental backswing; Gattis plunked late
DENVER -- When Rockies manager Walt Weiss burst out of the dugout in animated fashion on Thursday afternoon, he was reacting to Corey Dickerson getting hit with a David Carpenter pitch immediately after Dickerson's backswing knocked Braves catcher Gerald Laird out of the game.
But his anger was fueled by the fact that Braves right-hander Julio Teheran had also hit Josh Rutledge with an 0-2 pitch during Wednesday night's game. Teheran's 92-mph fastball deflected off Rutledge's left shoulder and knocked the batting helmet off his head.
"I don't like to show [anger]," Weiss said. "I don't like to go there. The stuff I do is behind closed doors. I'm not here to entertain anybody."
Plate umpire Jordan Baker immediately ejected Carpenter and then tossed Weiss after the Colorado skipper rushed on the field to adamantly voice his opinion. Weiss was ejected as he told Baker he needed to get control of the game, and then he began yelling at Carpenter and in the direction of the Braves' dugout.
"He doesn't want his guys getting hit and hurt," Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said. "But I understand. I talked to Carp and he was seriously trying to go in. It just happened to work out really, really bad for us. It looked bad."
According to Johnson, Weiss was yelling, "We owe you two."
The Rockies got their retaliatory blow in when Nick Masset hit Evan Gattis on the left biceps muscle with two outs in the ninth inning of Colorado's 10-3 win. Gattis went to first base without any reaction. Masset and bench coach Tom Runnells were ejected.
"I can understand Walt getting upset," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We hit Rutledge in the head yesterday. Teheran, the ball got away and we hit him in the head. We're trying to throw the ball in on Dickerson. That's where we're going to get him out. I can understand how he got upset. I don't blame him one bit, but I don't think it was on purpose what Carpenter did. The only one that knows that is Carp."
Carpenter certainly did not admit hitting Dickerson on purpose. But regardless of what the Braves reliever said, it was impossible to ignore the fact that he hit him on the right thigh with a 95-mph fastball immediately after the Rockies outfielder had inadvertently struck Laird with his backswing.
"If you look at his at-bats the whole series, the ball has been out over the plate and he's hammered them pretty good," Carpenter said. "So we were going to try to pound him in there. He took a decent hack at the one fastball I threw in there. It cut in on him a little bit. I threw a slider, he fouled it off. I just tried to run another fastball in. It ended up cutting on me and caught him."
Dickerson was certainly surprised to receive what he viewed as Carpenter's retaliatory response to Laird being knocked out of the game.
"Sometimes I have a long backswing, but I had two strikes on me," Dickerson said. "He throws the slider, I take a good swing on it and I hit him on my backswing. It was a complete accident. I'd never hit somebody on purpose on a backswing anyways. I don't think it was called for at all, but he did it. It is what it is.
"It was almost behind me. The guy has been in the big leagues for a while. It's pretty hard to miss that far. I'm not the one to say if it was intentional or not, but I felt like it was."
Weiss was among those who were suspicious and bewildered by Carpenter's possible intention.
"If you think a guy can foul a ball off and at the same time hit the catcher on a backswing on purpose, you've got no clue," Weiss said. "They made their decision and they made a bad choice."
Fortunately, the situation did not escalate when Masset hit Gattis with a 94-mph first-pitch fastball.
"It's baseball," Gonzalez said. "They got Gattis in the ninth inning. Gattis went down to first base. We knew something like that could happen and it happened. I'm really proud of the way Gattis handled that situation."
The Braves were also glad to hear Laird passed all the preliminary concussion tests after Dickerson's bat knocked his mask off and struck the right side of his face, causing some jaw discomfort.
"I'm sure none of that stuff is intentional," Laird said. "It's one of those things where you foul a pitch off, and it just caught me in the right spot. I have no hard feelings toward him."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.