After Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee was hit in the hand by a Chris Young pitch, he obviously wasn't happy. He walked slowly to first, had words with the San Diego Padres pitcher and apparently received a response he didn't particularly like. So, he took at swing.
Young swung back and the melee ensued. Both benches cleared and there was some pushing and shoving, but Lee and Young were both held back, so no one was seriously injured. Lee, Young, Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry and Padres starter Jake Peavy were all ejected.
To make matters worse, Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano lost his no-hitter with one out in the eighth when Marcus Giles hit a chopper that bounced high over the mound and off Zambrano's glove for an infield single. Russell Branyan's solo shot in the ninth handed the Padres the 1-0 victory.
"I will say this, I didn't throw at him and that's as far as I'll go," said Young, who was hitless through the three-plus innings he pitched before getting tossed. "I didn't try to hit him. It had nothing to do with anything in the past. I was just trying to throw a pitch inside. It got away and hit him."This all possibly stems from Friday night when Alfonso Soriano homered off David Wells. The $136 million dollar man stopped at the plate to admire the distance of the longball and then slowly began his home run trot with a few steps backward, much to the dismay of the Padres' bench.
"Thank God nobody was hurt
by my fists of fury," said Big Z, who just happened to be changing his jersey in the clubhouse when the brawl erupted.
Zambrano (7-6, 4.53 ERA) gave up only two hits, but his Cubs managed just two hits themselves off relievers Justin Hampson, winning pitcher Heath Bell. Closer Trevor Hoffman recorded his 19th save in 21 chances as the Pads' nailed down their 11th shutout of the season.
Incidentally, Koyie Hill was catching Zambrano for the third straight game since the ass-kicking of Michael Barrett.
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