ShareThis Page

Pirates pitcher Cole's strong outing wasted in 14-inning loss at home

| Sunday, April 20, 2014, 6:12 p.m.
Pirates outfielder Travis Snider flips the Brewers' Carlos Gomez during a bench-clearing scuffle in the third inning Sunday, April 20, 2014, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates outfielder Travis Snider flips the Brewers' Carlos Gomez during a bench-clearing scuffle in the third inning Sunday, April 20, 2014, at PNC Park.

The Pirates left their 3-2, extra-innings loss to the Brewers on Sunday literally bloodied.

A third-inning Easter brawl left Travis Snider with a cut below his eye after being punched in the face by Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, and with the loss the Pirates fell to three games below .500, losers six of seven games to the Brewers this season.

It was an ugly afternoon for the Pirates, which included Jason Grilli's second blown save in as many days, allowing another ninth-inning homer to Ryan Braun. The once unassailable Pirate bullpen faltered again in the 14th inning when Jeanmar Gomez allowed the game-winning homer to Khris Davis.

If the rivalry had waned, it was reignited Sunday.

The brawl began when Carlos Gomez smashed a Gerrit Cole offering deep to center field in the third inning. It appeared Gomez thought he had homered. He admired the shot for a moment and flipped his bat. The ball hit high off the center-field wall, and Gomez eventually slid into third with a triple.

After Gomez reached third, Cole walked near the base and barked at Gomez, prompting outrage from the Brewers' center fielder, who moved toward Cole. The bullpens and benches cleared.

Gomez was restrained from chasing after Cole, who walked back toward the mound after offering Gomez his opinion of on-field decorum. Snider, who was not in the starting lineup, walked toward Gomez, who swung a fist at Snider. Snider eventually flipped Gomez, causing Gomez to awkwardly land on his neck on the infield dirt. Snider was then grabbed by Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks and was punched in the face by Maldonado.

Pirates catcher Russell Martin was not in the stating lineup, as Chris Stewart started for the first time as a Pirate, but Martin had to be restrained during the brawl.

“The fair thing would be for our team to hold down Maldonado so Travis (Snider) can go back and sucker punch him right in the face,” Martin said. “That would be the fair thing to do.

“It's like a band of brothers out there, you are going to protect your own guy. But there are certain rules of combat that apply.”

Three were ejected — Snider, Brewers coach Jerry Narron, and Gomez. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke wanted Cole to be ejected, too.

“I'm not flipping my bat because I thought it was a home run. I thought it was a fly ball out,” Gomez said. “(Cole) tell me something … he walk to mound, everything is fine. ... But some guy (Snider), idiot, come out and do stupid stuff.

“Snider come out like a superhero trying to throw punches.”

Cole was remorseful afterward.

He felt his career-high eight innings had been tarnished.

“I said (to Gomez) ‘If you are going to hit a home run, you can watch it. If you are going to hit a fly ball to center field, don't watch it,'” Cole said. “I let my emotions get the better of me. I ended up getting one of my teammates (Snider) hurt. Not too thrilled about it.”

Aside from the third inning, Cole was calm and in control.

Cole threw just 91 pitches, but manager Clint Hurdle elected to bring in Grilli for the ninth after a Jose Tabata RBI single gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

“I felt that was enough for (Cole) today,” Hurdle said. “There was chance to get on the other side of 100 (pitches), which doesn't bother me. He'd be pitching in the ninth inning to win the game or lose the game. I didn't want to see a bad mark.”

The teams meet again in Milwaukee in May. To be continued.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.