PITTSBURGH -- The arrival of the Reds -- and of their hard-throwing closer, Aroldis Chapman -- into Pittsburgh in the wake of the Carlos Quentin-Zack Greinke drama could be called a case of immaculate reaction.
A hot pre-game topic anyway. Residue from Chapman's plunking of Andrew McCutchen early last August was warmed up a bit more by Quentin's charge of Greinke in Thursday night's game in San Diego between the Dodgers and the Padres.
McCutchen was steamed after Chapman's first pitch to him with two outs in the ninth inning on Aug. 3 -- with the Reds leading 3-0 at Great American Ball Park -- was a 98-mile fastball to the upper shoulder.
"At the time, I thought it was a little intentional," said McCutchen, whose immediate reaction apparently is typical of batters getting hit: He looked for signs from Chapman that it had been accidental.
"I waited for him to acknowledge it and didn't see anything," McCutchen said. "But when I watched the video later, he acknowledged it when I reached down to take off my shin guard. He gave a little head nod, as if to say, 'I messed up.' He probably threw it a little harder than normal, and it got away from him."
As for any bad blood spilling over into 2013, the vibes in the Pirates clubhouse indicated that they were not in get-even mode.
"I'm over it. It's over and done with," McCutchen said. "I'd take him to dinner right now, if I had to."
Manager Clint Hurdle, however, spoke of "a desire for us to go out and do real good. You're going to have to go through them to get to where you want to go."
"I think there might be some angst still hanging around," Hurdle added.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.