LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — The mercurial Manny Machado may have played the hero in scoring the winning run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Tuesday night’s thriller to even the NL Championship Series at two games apiece, but the Milwaukee Brewers are seeing the controversial star shortstop as a villain.
Both benches cleared after Machado clipped the back leg of Milwaukee first baseman Jesus Aguilar while running out his groundout Tuesday night in the 10th inning of Game 4.
Aguilar left his foot on the base for a moment after Machado was already out, and the star shortstop appeared to show his displeasure by bringing his left foot forward and kicking Aguilar on the back of the leg.
The incident immediately took the top spot on the growing list of Machado’s debatable decisions in baseball ethics.
“He’s a player that has a history of those types of incidents,” Milwaukee slugger Christian Yelich said. “One time is an accident. Repeated over and over and over again, you’re just a dirty player. It’s a dirty play by a dirty player, and that’s what it is. I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but you can’t respect someone who plays the game like that.”
Aguilar wasn’t hurt, but he was angry. Dodgers first base coach George Lombard joined the discussion before players spilled onto the field from both benches and bullpens.
“I was trying to get over him and hit his foot,” Machado said. “If that’s dirty, that’s dirty. I don’t know. Call it what you want.”
Nothing happened beyond that spirited argument, and the two principals made up after Machado singled in the 13th inning. He briefly hugged Aguilar while they stood together at first base.
“We’re family. Things happen,” Machado said, who scored the winning run moments later. “Everything that happens on the field stays on the field. He’s a great guy. We go way back since the minor leagues. So it’s just a friendly game, go out, try and compete here. We’re trying to win. He’s trying to do whatever he can to help his team over there, and we’re doing the same over here.”
The rest of the Brewers didn’t appear to be quite as forgiving. Infielder Travis Shaw also called it dirty, and Yelich followed up his postgame criticism of Machado by yelling a profane epithet as he walked away from his locker.
“The play at first today is a pretty dirty play,” Shaw said. “It’s not a mistake. You don’t kick somebody like that on accident. You can say it wasn’t on purpose, this and that, but it’s a dirty play.
The Dodgers evened the best-of-seven series with a 2-1 victory as Cody Bellinger singled in Manny Machado from second base with two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning.
The five-hour, 15-minute game was the second-longest NLCS game by time, behind Game 5 of the 1999 series between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves which took 5:46.
On Wednesday, the Dodgers will try to move within one victory of their second consecutive World Series berth. The opening pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
Clayton Kershaw will be the Dodgers starting pitcher, seeking to rebound from his shortest postseason start, facing fellow left-hander Wade Miley.
Since the NLCS went to the best-of-seven format in 1985, the team with the home field advantage over the final three games has a 5-6 record when the series is tied 2-2, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s official statistician. The Dodgers are 4-8 when tied 2-2 in a best- of-seven series, the Brewers are 0-2.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)