PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants and Phillies cleared the benches for an angry confrontation after Jonathan Sanchez hit Chase Utley with a pitch in the third inning of Saturday night's NLCS game.
Utley became the seventh hit batsmen for the Phillies in the series. There were some angry words and then players from both teams streamed onto the field. There was some shoving, but no punches thrown. No one was ejected.
The incident was sparked immediately after the plunking, when the ball rolled in front of Utley as he trotted down to first. Utley tossed the ball underhand back in the direction of the pitcher's mound, an action that elicited a long glare from Sanchez and then an exchange of words between the two that appeared to include profanities.
Sanchez was immediately removed from the game by manager Bruce Bochy after the incident. Bochy had already started toward the mound to make a change before the incident.
Sanchez, who had not hit anyone in his first start, commented on the number of Phillies who had been hit a day earlier: "They stand too close to the plate."
Sanchez and Utley do have a history. The Giants left-hander buzzed Utley in July 2009, and the Phillies second baseman responded later in the at-bat by stepping out of the batter's box as Sanchez started his windup and then hitting a home run. The Phillies retaliated later in the game by hitting Ryan Garko.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Posted by news update at 8:50 PM