6/12/2013 10:41 P.M. ET
D-backs forced to use four strikes to fan Puig
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- It got lost in the scuffle, er shuffle, Tuesday night, but the umpiring crew missed a strike call on Yasiel Puig during his fourth-inning at-bat.
The blown call led to Puig striking out on what was really strike four.
The issue began with the first pitch of the at-bat, when Puig checked his swing at an Ian Kennedy pitch and it ticked off his bat and went back to the screen.
Home plate umpire Clint Fagan apparently thought the ball hit off catcher Miguel Montero's glove rather than the bat. The D-backs assumed Fagan called it a strike since the runner did not move off of first base and Fagan threw Kennedy a new ball.
Puig swung and missed at the next pitch and then took a ball in the dirt. It was then that Fagan told Montero the count was 2-1 and not 1-2 as the D-backs thought.
"He says, 'I never called the first pitch a strike,'" Montero said. "I'm like, man the first pitch was a foul-tip strike. The ball went back there and the runner is still at first. How do you explain that? I think he didn't remember. Seriously, I don't know. I don't know what to do. I was in the situation where I was like, 'Let's bring the iPad down and show him the replay.' They called an umpire's meeting and came to the conclusion that he never called the first pitch a strike. We all make mistakes, but apparently nobody was watching the game."
Kennnedy stood between the mound and home plate with an incredulous look on his face.
"I go, 'You're kidding me, right?'" Kennedy said he the told the umpire. "'Why did you give me a new ball then? And the ball went over there and the runner didn't go to second. You gave me a new ball, it was a foul ball.'"
Puig then swung and missed at a pitch for what should have been the third strike. Instead Kennedy got him to swing and miss one more time for the four-strike strikeout.
With it having worked out, Montero was free to laugh about the incident Wednesday.
"The guy is so hot they changed the rule for him," Montero said of Puig. "Now we have to get four strikes to strike him out."
Gibson asserts D-backs were not headhunting
LOS ANGELES -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was eager to turn the page from his team's fight with the Dodgers the night before, but not until he made one thing perfectly clear.
"I can tell you we would never endorse throwing at anybody's head and it didn't happen last night," Gibson said. "Balls got away from people last night. It was close. I get it. We'd feel upset about that, too. But that's not our intent I can tell you that right now."
The Dodgers were upset when Yasiel Puig and was hit in the nose and Zack Greinke was hit in the shoulder area, essentially accusing the D-backs of throwing at their heads.
"I just wanted to make it clear that we're not," Gibson said. "If you look at the way we got Puig out on the four-strike strikeout, we found a little hole up and in, and Ian was trying to go back in there. The ball got away. There's no question, we're not trying to hit him right there. You would never, ever want to try to hit anybody anywhere close high. You would never try to hit anybody to begin with and certainly not around the head. We all understand that."
Kennedy too denied trying to hit either player near the head.
"I don't want to hit anybody in the head or come near close to their head because I've had pitches thrown at my head and it's not very comfortable," Kennedy said. "Whether you're bunting, whether you're trying to hit, no matter how hard it is, it's not very comfortable and I would never want that."
Kennedy unsure what to expect following brawl
LOS ANGELES -- Ian Kennedy is from nearby Huntington Beach and was a Dodgers fan growing up.
The D-backs right-hander, though, is well aware that the Dodgers are no fans of his after he plunked Yasiel Puig and Zack Greinke with pitches Tuesday night.
"Out of all the teams I liked in California, it'd be more the Dodgers," Kennedy said. "I don't think many Dodgers fans like me too much."
Kennedy is well aware that he could be the target of a pitch in a future game against the Dodgers.
"If I get thrown at my head, so be it," Kennedy said. "We've got better helmets this year."
Kennedy is expected to be disciplined by Major League Baseball, but as of Wednesday night no penalties had been announced.
"I think we'll wait and see," Kennedy said about whether he thought he would receive a suspension. "I know there's a lot of video to be seen. There were a lot of punches thrown and I looked at it last night and there weren't a lot from us. Lot of [disabled list] guys over there that are going to get it."
Players on the disabled list are not allowed to be on the field, and it appeared several Dodgers who were on the DL were involved in the fracas.
"I leave that up to the Commissioner's Office," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said when asked if he thought Kennedy would be disciplined. "I'm sure we'll know something [Thursday]. There's going to be suspensions probably on both sides. We were a little outmanned when all their DL players were on the field. I saw at least six or seven guys who were on the disabled list in the middle of it."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.