Marlins say business with Nats is finished
Players don't expect carryover when teams meet again
MIAMI -- The storm came on Wednesday night. Will the calm follow?
It remains to be seen the next time the Marlins face the Nationals, which will be Sept. 10-12 at Nationals Park.
"I know it's over for me," Marlins veteran Wes Helms said. "I hope it is for these other guys."
The two teams had a heated exchange on Wednesday night that featured fists flying and plenty of pushing and shoving.
The incident began when Nyjer Morgan charged Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad, triggering a bench-clearing scrap in the sixth inning of Florida's 16-10 victory at Sun Life Stadium.
The teams went at it after Volstad, who plunked Morgan in the fourth inning, threw behind the Nationals outfielder his next time up.
Four players and both managers were ejected. Tossed from Florida were Volstad, Jose Veras and manager Edwin Rodriguez. The Nationals' ejections were Morgan, Doug Slaten and manager Jim Riggleman. Slaten was thrown out after he pegged Gaby Sanchez with a pitch in the seventh. Riggleman also was ejected at that time.
Rodriguez said the Marlins are ready to move on and put the incident behind them.
"We're going to keep playing ball. We're going to turn the page and keep playing baseball," the manager said. "Hopefully, nobody gets hurt."
The friction created on Wednesday was linked to the 10th inning in Tuesday's game when Morgan collided with catcher Brett Hayes on a play the Marlins believed Morgan would have scored on had he slid.
Hayes sustained a separated left shoulder, while Morgan was called out at the plate.
Retaliation by the Marlins was expected on Wednesday, and Volstad actually hit three players with pitches, including Morgan.
When the Marlins visit Washington, Helms says those games should be all about baseball.
"[Wednesday night] was something we had to do," Helms said. "But we need to be professionals and just play the rest of the season. Unless something else happens there that starts it, then we're going to go there and just play baseball."
Rodriguez said the matter should have been done with after Morgan was struck by a pitch in the fourth inning. And the manager noted the Marlins were just pitching Morgan inside when Volstad's pitch sailed behind him.
"Everything was resolved. We were trying to pitch inside," Rodriguez said. "We were still trying to pitch inside the third time he was up. He was playing his game, we were playing our games, let's put it that way."
As bodies piled up, Sanchez, the first baseman, defended Volstad by knocking down Morgan with his right arm.
"It was really good that he got there as quickly as he did so Volstad didn't have to take all of it at once," Helms said. "That was really good. You've got to commend Gaby for that."
Nationals third-base coach Pat Listach was in the pile on top of Volstad, who sported a swollen right cheek. Everything escalated from there.
"He had to defend his players, and Gaby reacted well," Rodriguez said. "He was there. Along with Pat Listach, the third-base coach."
Riggleman and Rodriguez exchanged words as well during the sixth-inning affair.
"We were trying to pull everybody out," Rodriguez said. "It was Riggleman pointing at our players. We were trying to get [the players] off the field. I wanted his team to be off the field, too."
Veras, meanwhile, was asking why he was tossed, because he believed he didn't do anything wrong.
"I just was defending my teammates. I didn't do anything to nobody," Veras said. "I didn't hit nobody. That's why I went to them to ask [the umpires] what I did. I don't know the reason they threw me out. You can see the video. I didn't do anything. I just talked to one guy. I said, 'Don't argue and talk [that way] to the manager.' That's all I said."
Chad Tracy was one of the first players in the pile at the mound.
"You're trying to protect your pitcher from getting hurt, because after about the first 10 seconds, it's just bodies on top of each other anyway," Tracy said. "You're trying to keep yourself from getting hurt. But at the same time, you're trying to protect your pitcher. If you go in throwing blows, you're asking for a suspension. We can't really lose any more players right now."
Asked if the tensions between the teams are now resolved, Tracy noted: "It should be, yeah."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.