Both benches and bullpens cleared in the ninth inning of Game 3 in the ALDS between the A’s and Tigers, a rare sight for a playoff series.
And what made the scene at Comerica Park even more bizarre is that it wasn’t a high-and-tight pitch or a hit batter that started the incident. Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez fouled off a pitch from Oakland closer Grant Balfour, and stared out to the mound. Balfour, an excitable type who isn’t one to back down from anything, barked at Martinez. Martinez yelled back and started walking toward the mound.
“It's playoff baseball, and everybody knows in the league, including the Oakland team, that Balfour is an energy guy,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said in his postgame press conference. “He's a hyper guy, an energy guy, and it looked like he came off the mound at Victor. Victor took offense to it, and I don't blame him. I understand that.