LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 16: Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants reacts after being hit in the head by a pitch from Vicente Padilla of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The players are all wearing number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Whether you think the Giants Dodger rivalry is hype or real, it is alive and well this week in the City. Fans are packing the park for a mid-week match-up. And Wednesday's day game comes with an added on-the-field drama.
Back on April 16, a high inside pitch from Padilla fractured Aaron Rowand's face in two places, leaving him on the disabled list with a mild concussion.
The pitch in question came one throw after Padilla was visited on the mound by Dodger's pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Padilla's a reputation for foul play recently proceeded him when he tangled with Yankees player Robinson Cano at the plate hitting him in the backside. The Yankees thought the pitch was intentional.
With the showdown in near sight, Rowand did not display animosity or forgiveness toward Padilla and told the San Jose Mercury News, "I'm not going to say a word about it. I'm not going to stir the (pot). I figured it would come up, but honestly, I didn't know he was pitching in the series."
Padilla asserted his claim of innocence and remained faultless when speaking with the San Jose Mercury by adding, "I'm not trying to hit the guy in the face."
For what it's worth, Padilla further denied that he aimed for Rowand intentionally, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I threw inside and the pitch ran in on him. He was right on the plate..."
With a mixture of Giants and Dodgers fans overflowing the ballpark Wednesday afternoon, many fans are anticipating the reunion, but if the Giants are looking for revenge, it will be up to pitcher Jonathan Sanchez to make it happen.