Remember back in 1990, when Dave Stewart threw a no-hitter—and then had it upstaged only a few hours later when Fernando Valenzuela threw a no-hitter of his own?
Wednesday was kind of like that for mound charges.
Tyler Austin’s assault on Boston pitcher Joe Kelly garnered more headlines, but Nolan Arenado’s charge of San Diego pitcher Hunter Renfro came first. Also, it was interesting.
The genesis came on Tuesday, when Rockies pitcher Scott Oberg drilled San Diego center fielder Manuel Margot in the ribs with a 95-mph fastball that pretty clearly lacked intent. (Oberg himself tried to relay as much to Padres coach Glenn Hoffman while he was still in the field.)
Still, the damage was such that Margot was placed on the 10-day disabled list. When it comes to teams harboring grudges, that kind of detail matters.
On Wednesday, the Padres drilled Trevor Story in the first inning, and the Rockies responded by drilling Hunter Renfro in the second. (Both pitches came in two-out situations that would suggest the pitchers had some inclination toward the results they achieved.)
Things came to a head in the third, when Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo ran directly counter to his team’s rock-steady plan of pitching Nolan Arenado away, instead sending a fastball directly at his ribs—as clear a response to Margot’s drilling as could be imagined. Arenado avoided the pitch, barely, then wasted no time in lighting out to get him a piece of pitcher. A backpedaling Perdomo tried to blunt the charge by tossing his glove at the furious batter, which, apart from being highly comical, sort of worked—the glove missed, but so did Arenado, and the fight ended up like so many others, with lots of shoving and not much in the way of actual brawling.
The teams meet again, also in Colorado, on April 23.