Pirates, Reds continue to plunk each other

Since last August, bad blood has been brewing between the Pirates and Reds. Intentional or not, the hit-by-pitches have been going back and forth. With more competition in the standings and added intensity on the diamond, these two clubs are reigniting an old rivalry.

Here’s a recap of all the plunking so far…

– It all started on Friday, August 3rd when the Bucs traveled to Cincinnati for a big series. With the Reds up 3-0, Aroldis Chapman nailed Andrew McCutchen in the top of the ninth inning:

McCutchen hit by Chapman

There were plenty of debates as to whether or not that was on purpose, but the Reds weren’t done for the weekend.

– The next night, Josh Harrison was hit by Mike Leake:

Harrison hit by Leake

– In the series finale, Starling Marte and Rod Barajas were plunked. Four Pirates and zero Reds were hit that weekend.

– The two clubs met at Great American Ballpark again in September. In the series opener, Alex Presley was drilled by Jose Arredondo in the seventh inning. Then, Jared Hughes started some controversy one inning later when he plunked Brandon Phillips. The Reds’ second baseman was not pleased; you can see him flip the ball back at Hughes at the end of this GIF:

Phillips hit by Jared  Hughes

Phillips said that Hughes used a racial slur, though the Bucco reliever refuted those claims.

– The Pirates and Reds were quiet for the rest of that series, as well as during a three-game set at the end of September at PNC Park.

– The two clubs met for the first time in 2013 on the weekend of April 12 – 14. On the 12th, Marte was pegged by Leake. On the 13th, Shin-Soo Choo was hit by Jeff Locke. On the 14th, Choo was plunked by Jeanmar Gomez.

– They squared off again this weekend at PNC. Johnny Cueto hit McCutchen in the first inning of the series opener. Choo, owner of one of the highest on-base percentages in Major League Baseball, has been a ball magnet – Wandy Rodriguez nailed the Reds’ center fielder in the fifth inning. A few innings later, Mike Zagurski plunked old friend Brandon Phillips.

– On Saturday, Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillps were beaned by Tony Watson. Phillips was especially upset, as the pitch bruised his forearm; it prompted him to respond with these comments:

[quote_simple]”It doesn’t matter what I think. But all I know is, when our pitchers do something — not intentional or intentional — I’m the guy they go after. That’s what it’s always been and that’s how it is. I’m not saying what any of those teams have done was on purpose. But I am saying that when something happens, I feel like I’m the guy.”[/quote_simple]

– Sunday’s series finale was more of the same. Choo was hit on the fourth pitch of the game, then Mat Latos retaliated by plunking Neil Walker in the home half of the first. Both benches were warned after that, although Vin Mazzaro was not ejected for plunking Choo (yes, Choo again) in the fourth inning. Starling Marte was hit-by-pitches in back-to-back at-bats, but neither warranted an ejection.

The Pirates and Reds will meet again in two weeks for a four-game set at Great American Ball Park. How many batters will get plunked that series?

Season in Pictures: September 2012

September 7th, 2012
Josh Harrison commits one of the Pirates’ seven errors, as the Cubs cruised to a 12-2 victory.

September 10th, 2012
Brandon Phillips is plunked by Jared Hughes; nonsense ensued, as Phillips thought Hughes made a racist comment towards him. The Bucs were swept by the Redlegs.

September 27th, 2012
Travis Snider scales the outfield wall to make a ridiculous catch at Citi Field. However, the Pirates lost, 6-5, as R.A. Dickey won his 20th game.

September 28th, 2012
Homer Bailey celebrates after no-hitting the Pirates at PNC Park.

September 29th, 2012
Andrew McCutchen is greeted by his teammates at home plate after knocking a walk-off home run against the Reds.

October 3rd, 2012
Andrew McCutchen leaves the field for the final time in 2012 to a standing ovation in front of 20,000+ at PNC Park.