The Reds-Cardinals brawl fall-out already includes an injury for a Cardinals player. The Reds-Cardinals brawl took place Tuesday night, when Brandon Phillips came up to bat for the Cincinnati Reds, and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina started tossing comments in his direction.
Phillips isn’t one to back down, and he took off his batting helmet, leading to Molina taking off his catcher’s mask, and the dugouts began to empty on to the field. Pushing and shoving ensued, and suddenly players were being pressed up against the backstop. One player who was pinned to the backstop was Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, who began to do anything he could to get out of there. This included kicking players with his spikes up, and injuring a Cardinals player in the process.
The injured St. Louis Cardinals player is catcher Jason LaRue, who suffered a mild concussion and bruised ribs during the altercation. The injury was severe enough that the Cardinals already called up a minor league player to replace him on the roster for the time being. LaRue’s replacement will be Steven Hill from Double-A Springfield, a 25-year-old catcher who will soon make his major league debut. Hill’s debut might be over-shadowed by the controversy surrounding this brawl and the evolving rivalry between the Reds and Cardinals.
The umpires did a really good job at getting the game going after the brawl, and ended up only ejecting the managers of both teams (Dusty Backer and Tony La Russa). This doesn’t mean that the players have escaped any punishment from the Reds-Cardinals brawl by any means, because Major League Baseball is going to be reviewing all of the tapes from what took place, and, if they feel that anyone was instigating the brawl, they could dish out a few suspensions. It would be difficult to support a suspension of Molina or Phillips, who were just arguing, but the MLB has done stranger things in the past. A report from the umpiring crew could also play into it.
The rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals just got ramped up another notch on Tuesday night, and that can only be good for baseball. Both teams are battling for the National League Central Division title this season, and are virtually tied atop the standings now. Cincinnati has a 64-50 record coming into Wednesday’s games, while St. Louis is at 63-49, with just about six weeks left in the regular season. How this turns out is anyone’s guess, but some exciting baseball appears to be on the horizon.