The Giants and Diamondbacks provided a textbook example Tuesday of how to enforce baseball's unwritten rules. From start to finish, it was one of the most casual, most professional retaliations you'll see.
It helped that the principals were veterans who know how this stuff is supposed to work.
In a matter of seconds, Giants starter Jeff Samardzija defended the honor of a teammate and Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt absorbed the punishment without complaint.
Samardzija dotted Goldschmidt's left butt cheek with a 96 mph fastball in the first inning because the Giants' best player, catcher Buster Posey, was hit in the head by a pitch —unintentionally —the day before. Posey was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled listearlier Tuesday.
Samardzija knew he had to deliver the payback to Arizona's best player, and that's Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt, also knowing what was up, turned and offered his backside. The pitch wentwhere it needed to go — nowhere near the head and neck area. Goldschmidt dropped his bat, put his head down and went to first base.
That was that. A plunking in response to a beaning. No mound charge, no staredown, no loud noises. Even the umpires got it right; no ejections or warnings. It was played "the right way" all around.
And "all around" extended to the postgame with reporters. Giants manager Bruce Bochy refused to talk about the pitch. Samardzija issued the expecteddenial; he gave a line about wanting to pitch Goldschmidt inside after giving up a home run to him last week.
Samardzija then gave the game away without saying another word.
Reporter: "Looked like it might have been, you know, retaliation."
Samardzija: *Long pause* *Knowing smirk* *Head shake* *Pause continues* *Says he's done talking*
Cry not for Goldschmidt, though. He got satisfaction later in the game. His team held on for a 4-3 win, and he contributed to the victory with a walk and a run scored in the third inning when Arizona went up 3-0 on Samardzija, who took the loss.
Mock the whole dance if you want. This stuff matters to players, so it's notable when the steps are so graceful.