Marlins' first baseman Gaby Sanchez, the second man into the brawl last night that started when Fish right-hander Chris Volstad threw at the Washington Nationals' Nyjer Morgan for the second time in a HBP-filled affair in Florida, made an appearance on Sirius/XM's MLB Network Radio show Power Alley with Jim Duquette and guest host (and former major league pitcher) Jeff Nelson to talk about what went down in Sun Life Stadium last night. According to the first baseman, he blinsided and clotheslined the Nats' 6'0'' 175lb outfielder because he was "just trying to protect" the Marlins' 6'8'' 230lb right-hander. "I mean it's just one of those crazy things," Sanchez says, "I'm trying to protect Chris Volstad as much as I can in that situation."
Jim Duquette: "What's going through your mind [when Morgan charged the mound]?"
Gaby Sanchez: "I wish that I could have gotten there before [Morgan got to Volstad] so he couldn't even take a swing at Volstad, and I could've tried to get into the middle of it, but, I mean, just like you said, he's very quick and he's the only one that knew what he was going to do, so...I mean I kinda knew in the back of my head that there was a chance that he would charge if he gets hit again, but he kinda stayed for a second and then all of a sudden threw his bat and then started to run so he kinda got, I think everybody by surprise. So, in my situation I'm just trying to do whatever I can to try to protect my pitcher and get him off him."
Jeff Nelson: "I played a long time and there [are] idiots all over the league. And yeah, if you could you'd want to hit them all the time, every time at bat. And same with pitchers, it goes both ways. I look at what Nyjer did, and for one I want to ask, 'Why did Volstad throw behind him the second time?' He hit him one time, which is for what happened the night before with running over the catcher [Brett Hayes], and I looked at that play and, I don't know if you as a player, I don't know if you've ever run into a catcher, is that a situation like the last ten, fifteen feet, twenty feet, you're seeing a play and all of a sudden you have to make a split decision, 'Am I going to run this over or if I'm going to slide,' and all of a sudden maybe you do run the guy over and then you look at it that night or the day after and you're like, 'You know what, if I would've slid I would've been safe,' but I have to make a split second decision if I'm going to take this guy out or not, so I didn't understand why you guys threw at him a second time, maybe kind of explain that a little bit of your reasoning?"
Gaby Sanchez: "I mean I just took it as, we hit him the first time, I think we're up by eleven at that point in time and when he got to first he ends up stealing second and then stealing third, down by eleven. And that's the whole gist of the conversation, you know I heard, you really don't do that in baseball. I can understand if it's a four-run lead, and you know, they hit you on purpose and you go ahead and steal second and steal third, then I don't think it's anything of a big deal, but when the team's down by eleven, we're not really holding him on, we're not really doing anything and he ends up stealing second and then third, and I know a lot of the guys were upset about the whole situation, so just try to hit him again kinda thing."
Jeff Nelson: "I can understand if it's late in a game, 7th, 8th, 9th game. If I'm a pitcher, I don't like when he's stealing cause all of a sudden I take up for my teammates and next thing I know he's stealing bags and that's a freakin' earned run and we're eleven runs up, but it's in the 4th and you've got to expect that they are going to run. If you weren't holding him on then you had to be playing close, and in that situation if you guys didn't want him to steal, and who knows what Nyjer's mindset is about, 'OK, I'm stealing this base no matter what.' But I didn't think, now if it's the other way, if they're up by eleven I can understand how you don't run, now when it's down, you're trying to do everything you can to come back that early. I don't think it's an unwritten rule about hey if you're down this much then you shouldn't be stealing, cause I mean if you guys are down and you're on the basepaths that early in the game, I mean anybody does it."
Gaby Sanchez: "Yeah, I definitely understand both ways of it, it was just I definitely know he was stealing because he got hit. It wasn't, 'Oh, we're down by 10 or 11, I'm going to steal those to get to third, it was, 'You guys hit me on purpose so now I'm going to steal second, I'm going to steal third,' and I know that was his mindset, but I mean, it's over now, things are done, so you've just got to continue playing and you know we still have got another three games against them and I'm pretty sure that all of this is done with."
There. Now you have both sides of the story.
• Had enough brawl talk? Here's some other things to read to get you through the travel day before tomorrow night's game in Pittsburgh:
Holden Kushner debates with his significant other as to whether the Nats will be competitive and exciting to watch next season: "You’ll have to depend on young guys like Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler to win 28-30 games next year like San Diego has gotten with young guys named Mat Latos and Clayton Richard. The Nationals defense has been consistently atrocious and the Padres have the best bullpen in baseball. Again, this is all possible, but definitely not probable."
"Espinosa saw the ball skip into the outfield, a clear single. But Espinosa kept his eyes to the outfield as fielder Mike Stanton 'didn't come to the ball hard,' Espinosa said. 'The second I saw him not charging the ball hard, I made my break for second.'"
"In non-Nyjer news, wow, was Scott Olsen bad. It's the second time since his return from the D.L. he's failed to make it out of the second inning. Overall stats since returning in seven starts: 32 IP, 1-6, 8.72 ERA, .331/.384/.574 against. Oh, and every start is another $100,000 down the drain."