The Cubs had a good Friday. Not only did Joe Maddon’s team beat the Cardinals and move to within six games of the Redbirds in the division, but both the Pirates and Giants lost late Friday night on the West Coast. The Dodgers topped the Pirates 6-2 while the Giants were shutout 2-0 by the Diamondbacks.
The Cubs are one game back of the Pirates for second place in the NL Central and the top spot in the Wild Card race. And the Giants slipped nine full games behind the Cubs for the second NL Wild Card.
The Cubs and Cardinals rivalry kicked back into high gear Friday afternoon. The Cardinals retaliated for Dan Haren hitting Matt Holliday with a pitch in the back of the helmet during the fifth inning by throwing behind Anthony Rizzo in the seventh inning with the bases empty and two outs.
If the Cardinals want to police the game, that is within their right to do so. Throwing low and behind Rizzo was classless and uncalled for. Players can be hit to send a message without headhunting or throwing behind a batter.
After signing the praises of Starlin Castro and explaining why he did not pinch hit for Tommy La Stella in the fourth inning with the bases loaded, Maddon was asked about the Cardinals throwing at Rizzo. And the Cubs’ skipper was not happy and did not hold back.
“I’m really disappointed in what the Cardinals did right there,” Maddon said. “Absolutely. We did not hit their guy on purpose at all. That was an absolute mistake. There was no malicious intent whatsoever on Dan Haren’s part. None.”
“So to become this vigilante group that all of a sudden wants to get their own pound of flesh, that’s absolutely insane, ridiculous and wrong. We don’t start stuff, but we will stop stuff. We will end stuff. That’s their call. That was there moment right there.”
“In the ninth inning they were playing behind us when we were leading by five runs,” Maddon added. “The next time they do it, we’re going to run. I want everybody to know that. I never read that particular book that the Cardinals wrote way back in the day. “I was a big Branch Rickey fan, but I never read this book that the Cardinals had written regarding how to play baseball. So, if you play behind us, we’re up by five points in the ninth, we’re running, and you have every right to do the same thing. Why?”
“Because if we score more runs there you could easily keep [Hector] Rondon from having to warm up easily. The fact that we don’t score more runs there, we have to get Rondon up there when they get two guys on potentially. So there’s all these different forces of nature at work there.”
“That particular book that you guys got was written right around the turn of the last century. Like 1900, when it took several singles to score runs as opposed to one big guy coming up and hitting a home run,” Maddon said. “So that all has changed. You can take that book and you can read it yourself. ‘Cause I don’t give a crap about that book. I want everybody there to understand that. We don’t start stuff, but we stop stuff.”
Maddon was asked if he believes Matt Belisle was pitching inside and the pitch got away from him.
“Of course not. That is ridiculous,” Maddon said. “I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to hear about pitching inside. I don’t want to hear any of that crap. The pitch Danny hit their guy with was an absolute mistake. It was awful. We all hated it in the dugout. I’m happy that he’s fine, absolutely, but you don’t do that under those circumstances.”
“We don’t start stuff, but we will finish stuff.”
“I have no history with the Cardinals except I used to love them as a kid growing up,” Maddon said. “That really showed me a lot today in a negative way. I don’t know who put out the hit. I don’t know if Tony Soprano is in the dugout. I didn’t see him in there. But we’re not going to put up with it, from them or anybody else”
“I didn’t cause a ruckus out there because I have a lot of respect for the umpire crew that was out there. I thought they did a great job, not a good job, a great job. I just want people to know just because we didn’t go out there in that particular moment is not a sign of weakness. We didn’t go out there out of respect to the umpires.”
Saturday’s game should be rather interesting if the Cardinals don’t let it go and start throwing at the Cubs again.
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Report from the Tribune
- Report from the Sun-Times
- Report from ESPN Chicago
News and Notes
• ESPN Chicago reported Javier Baez is emerging on defense for the Cubs. And Jesse Rogers talked to Baez about the fact he likes playing outfield, especially center field.
• According to Paul Sullivan, the Cubs are trying to catch the Cardinals … this season and beyond.
• Jerry Crasnick graded the hits and misses from July’s non-waiver trade deadline.
• According to Buster Olney the injury to Jung Ho Kang should lead to a change in the rulebook.
• Joe Maddon explained to ESPN Chicago that Chris Coghlan’s slide wasn’t dirty. Maddon said, “Anybody that wants to go there, you don’t know the game at all.”
• Ken Rosenthal talked to Commissioner Rob Manfred about the one-game Wild Card format.
And last, but not least, Kris Bryant went undercover as a Lyft driver.
This Day In Cubstory
2010 – Tyler Colvin, standing on third base, was punctured in the chest by a piece of Welington Castillo’s broken bat. Colvin scored and was taken to the hospital in Miami. Colvin did not play another game that season.
1981 – Scott Baker, born
1973 – Ron Santo and Billy Williams each homered for their 20th home runs of the season. In the more than 2000 games the two played with one another, Santo hit 325 homers and Williams hit 376.
1962 – Randy Meyers, born
1960 – Phil Stephenson, born
1955 – Ernie Banks set a Major League record with his fifth Grand Slam of the season in a 6-5 loss to the Cardinals in 12 innings.
1947 – Cubs released Billy Jurges
1947 – Cubs released Bill Lee
1935 – Cubs completed a four-game sweep over the Giants for their 16th straight victory, the longest winning streak in the big leagues since the Dodgers won 15 in a row in 1924.
1885 – John Clarkson pitched a two-hitter for his 50th win of the season in a 10-3 victory over Boston at West Side Park.