Clayton Kershaw had seen enough.
The Los Angeles Dodgers ace exacted a bit of revenge on the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, plunking Matt Holliday after the Cardinals hit Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez in back-to-back games.
Ramirez had also been hit in Game 1 of the 2013 NLCS, fracturing his rib after an inside pitch got away from St. Louis’ Joe Kelly.
Well, that was enough of that. Kershaw drilled Holliday with a first-pitch fast ball to the thigh to lead off the fourth inning.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, speaking to Jim Rome on Monday, said, “(The Cardinals) are a very smart organization. They’re a very smart team. I think that they – maybe more than any other team – use the entire plate, and they have no fear of pitching inside. They have no fear of running a guy off the plate. I guess if it gets away, it gets away. They hit Puig the day before as well. Nobody’s getting hit in the legs. Nobody’s getting hit down below. It’s always in the middle of the body.”
Holliday, who was hit leading off the fourth inning, bristled at Colletti’s insinuation that the Cardinals are cavalier about hitting opponents.
“I think that when you have big hitters – Puig and Ramirez hit the ball out over the plate really well – you try to pitch them inside,” Holliday said. “Nobody’s trying to hit anybody. I’ve been hit a bunch in my career. They try to pitch me inside. They don’t want to throw the ball out over the plate to guys that drive the ball to the middle of the field well. If they think that they have to retaliate for hitting Ramirez twice and hitting Puig once, I guess that’s their prerogative.”
“But you have to use the whole plate,” Holliday continued. “To say that any team doesn’t try to use both the inside and the outside part of the plate, I think, is silly. But that’s part of the game. I guess everybody’s got their own opinion on how things have to be handled and what intent is and what’s not. I don’t know how you handle it.”
Stunningly, Ramirez was hit once more in the ninth inning, taking an 0-2 fast ball from Trevor Rosenthal on the hand. X-rays were negative.
Holliday, however, was surprised that the Dodgers, who won the game 4-3, chose to retaliate at all after Ramirez’ initial plunking.
“Honestly, I didn’t think that at that point in the game – leading off an inning – that would be the time when they do it,” he said. “So I was a little surprised. I wasn’t going into that at-bat thinking, ‘Get ready to get hit on the first pitch.’ I was actually thinking (about) how I’m going to get a pitch here early in the count to try to get on base and get a base hit. I guess they wanted to handle it right away. I don’t know. I guess I should have been looking for it. But honestly, in my mind, I wasn’t thinking that was the time they were going to do it.”