In a matchup of aces Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw, both Kershaw and his Dodgers bench coach, Bob Schaefer, were ejected within an inning of each other at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers manager Joe Torre was thrown out alongside Kershaw because a warning had been issued.
The tension started on a high-and-tight Lincecum fastball to Matt Kemp in the bottom of the fifth inning. Lincecum's next pitch got Kemp in the side, and Kemp wasn't happy, either. Home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson kept his arm on Kemp in an attempt to prevent the center fielder from charging the mound as he walked to first.
Kemp made no attempt, and Johnson issued a warning to both teams. Schaefer was barking from the dugout, and Torre came out to talk to the umpires.
"I told you I'm not talking about none of that," Kemp said after the game. "That stays on the field, man. Don't ask me no more questions about what happened, man."
Before throwing another pitch, Lincecum threw over to first base. He allowed a hit and was pulled one batter later for Denny Bautista, leaving in a chorus of boos.
"It just got away from me," Lincecum said. "I wasn't throwing at him on purpose at all. I had a hard enough time finding the strike zone, let alone wanting to hit somebody on purpose when we're down already. If that's what he was thinking, I really don't know where his head's at."
Torre thought Lincecum was retaliating for an April 16 game in which Vicente Padilla hit Aaron Rowand in the face and broke his cheek.
"My guess would be, yes, it did," Torre said. "I don't think it was early in the game. I think his pitch count got to a point now where he wasn't going to pitch very much longer."
The Giants turned a 5-1 deficit into a 5-4 deficit in the top of the sixth, and the matter escalated again in the bottom half. Bautista's first pitch to Russell Martin was well inside (he said there was no intent, even though the two barked at each other), and Schaefer this time was ejected by Johnson.
Kershaw's first pitch of the seventh hit Rowand in the back, and both he and Torre were ejected. It was Kershaw's first career ejection, and he was cheered. Kershaw hit the first batter of the game, Andres Torres, on a pitch Torres half-swung at. Kershaw denied any intent.
"I don't think Lincecum's ball at Matt was intentional, I don't think Bautista's ball that went up and in at Russ was intentional," Kershaw said. "That's all I have to say about it. Any more questions about the game, that's great."
"In the old days this would've been sort of like protecting your own," Torre said. "I don't know what you call it nowadays. You call it, 'Get the hell out of here.'"
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less