PITTSBURGH - Some people were disappointed that the Pittsburgh Pirates didn't leave any bruises on the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend.
You know what happened. Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman threw a high and tight 101-mile per hour fastball that Andrew McCutchen deflected off his shoulder.
McCutchen was upset, and so were the Pirates.
There was no retaliation the next night because James McDonald got in first-inning trouble and didn't have the luxury of throwing brushback pitches.
When Mike Leake hit Josh Harrison, the umpires warned both teams, which effectively shut down any thoughts of throwing at batters.
That warning was reinforced before Sunday's game, which took that element out of the last game of the series, too.
A.J. Burnett pitched Sunday, and gave the Pirates the quality work they needed to salvage one game of the series.
Despite the kneejerk reaction of some, this wasn't an opportunity lost to retaliate. It was an opportunity deferred.
The Pirates and Reds have two more series, Sept. 10-12 in Cincinnati and Sept. 28-30 at PNC Park.
The Pirates players haven't forgotten what happened. They're waiting for the right chance to answer it.
The mission on Sunday was to win a game. What good would it have done to have Burnett, the team's best pitcher, ejected? For those who think Burnett could have drilled someone in the ninth inning, would it be smart to risk a suspension?
The fault here lies with umpire Brian Gorman, who had an awful weekend in so many ways. By issuing the warning in Saturday's game, he took away the Pirates' chance to retaliate.
That's why manager Clint Hurdle argued so vehemently that he was ejected.
Once the teams were warned, the game changed. Even though two more Pirates were hit in the series, those pitches were incidental, not intentional. One of the pitches was a slow curveball. You don't buzz anybody with that.
Baseball players remember game details, and nobody will forget what happened to McCutchen. There will be a response.
As circumstances played out, last weekend wasn't the time for it.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org