Giants/Dodgers Play Some Hardball

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When the Dodgers came to town for the first series at AT&T of the season, the Giants and their arch-rivals made a big show out of encouraging fans to behave, despite the attack of Dodgers fans against Bryan Stow.

This was a great thing for them to do, but I'm not entirely sure the attitude towards an opponent carried over to the field.

Things heated up Monday night as Tim Lincecum brought high cheddar to Matt Kemp, plunked Juan Uribe and threw a number of other head-high-and-inside brushback pitches.

Lest you think that's just coincidence, here's some background: Kemp is white-hot right now and has tormented the Giants on the field all season. Uribe is a former Giant who got booed repeatedly upon returning, particularly since he accepted a World Series ring at AT&T while wearing Dodger blue.

And Lincecum is straight dialed right now -- he wasn't just "missing" high and tight a lot.

Fast forward to Wednesday night and it's suddenly a surprise that Buster Posey got pegged -- twice! -- by Ted Lilly? I think not.

Or that Brandon Belt, rumbling dangerously towards the Dodger dugout to make a catch in foul territory, received no help from the men in blue when he began his flip over the edge of the dugout? Nevermind that it was in the ninth inning -- even after Belt had missed the ball, everyone on the L.A. team looked reluctant to give the rookie any assistance.

All of it adds up to some pretty chippy play. And maybe it wouldn't have even been noticeable if the two teams weren't playing so nicely off the field.

Or maybe, if the teams weren't working hard to set an example for the fans, it would have resulted in a straight-up brawl on the field between the two rivals.

That's not to say things will get ugly the next time that these teams meet. But it warrants mentioning that for as much good in the community that these two teams are doing right now, they still hate each other.

So don't be shocked when things get chippy the next time around either.

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