The Reds and Cardinals did not throw any punches, but they risk getting hit hard by MLB after their benches cleared during the fourth inning of their game Saturday at Cincinnati.
The incident occurred after Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos scored on a wild pitch by avoiding a tag from Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford. After being called to safety, Castellanos gasped at Woodford because he had been hit by a pitch to the right-hander’s shoulder earlier in the frame.
This led to both the benches and bullpens clearing and quite a few of the rival NL Central players pitted and pushed each other with the Reds leading 7-2. The situation appears to be in direct violation of MLB’s COVID-19 protocols for this season regarding fighting.
“Fighting and instigating fights is strictly prohibited.” protocols read. “Players must not make physical contact with others for any reason unless it occurs in normal and permitted game action. Violations of these rules will result in severe discipline. “
Castellanos was the only player sent off. It’s unclear if MLB will take further action, but it will certainly test how the league plans to enforce its COVID-19 protocols this season. The league suspended Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron 20 games for instigating a fight with the Athletics last season and Oakland outfielder Ramon Laureano six games for loading the dugout.