An unusually peaceful plunking

Sunday, Aug. 19

SAN DIEGO — A somewhat rare event occurred Sunday: Padres left-hander Clayton Richard plunked Brandon Belt of the Giants with a fourth-inning pitch Sunday; everybody knew the act was intentional; and yet tempers didn’t fly out of control.

Richard was getting even for Ryan Vogelsong hitting Carlos Quentin with a pitch in the second inning.

“It’s part of baseball sometimes, so I wasn’t too upset about it,” said Belt, who was struck above his right hip.

Manager Bruce Bochy felt certain that Richard consciously threw at Belt. “There was no question,” Bochy said. “Obviously they thought we hit [Quentin] on purpose. But Vogelsong was laboring out there. No big deal.”

Vogelsong was the only Giant who sounded annoyed. But not because he had to settle a score with Quentin, who should be accustomed to getting hit. He has 14 HBPs this year, led the American League with 23 last year for Chicago and totaled 20 in two other seasons.

Quentin apparently glared briefly at Vogelsong after being hit. That didn’t sit well with the right-hander.

“The guy hammers balls out over the plate and then he gets [angry] when I throw him inside. It doesn’t make sense,” Vogelsong said. “I’m a sinkerball pitcher. Every once in a while the ball runs on you more than you think it’s going to. I wasn’t trying to hit him at all there. Every time you hit a guy in this game now, everybody thinks you did it on purpose. I’m frickin’ tired [of it].”

Chris Haft

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