CHICAGO – Chris Archer has been suspended five games by Major League Baseball for his part in Sunday’s benches-clearing incident with the Reds at PNC Park.
The Pirates right-hander appealed the suspension, which was announced Tuesday. He is next scheduled pitch Saturday against the Nationals at Washington.
Reds right fielder Yasiel Puig was suspended for two games and manager David Bell received a one-game ban.
The incident was touched off when Archer threw a 93-mph fastball behind Derek Dietrich's waist in the fourth inning. Two innings earlier, Dietrich had stood at home plate and admired a 436-foot home run off Archer that cleared the Clemente Wall and bounced into the Allegheny River.
Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg warned both benches after Archer's pitch. As Bell came out of the dugout to argue that Archer should have been ejected, players from both dugouts and bullpens ran onto the field.
Puig put Pirates bench coach Tom Prince in a headlock at one point. Puig was ejected along with Bell. Also tossed were Felipe Vazquez, Keone Kela and Reds reliever Amir Garrett.
Archer was not ejected.
As much as I was surprised that Archer wasn't ejected Sunday, I was not surprised he was suspended.
While five games might seem harsh, it is the same as one game for a position player as starting pitchers play only once every five days. Archer did what he thought was necessary and I won't fault him for that but he also helped provoke both benches to empty and needed to be punished.
I think two games is a little light for Puig, considering he acted like a madman Sunday and was looking to hurt someone.
One game for Bell is fair. He, too, escalated matters but he was also right for arguing that Archer should have been tossed.