Directly contributing to today’s wild comeback win for the Chicago Cubs was a 9th inning hit-by-pitch, and the lead the Cubs had to overcome was one run larger than it had been before a 7th inning hit-by-pitch of their own.
Usually, that would get lost amid the excitement and drama of the comeback, but each HBP might have consequences for the players involved, at a minimum … and hopefully not for the teams going forward.
In the 7th inning, after the Nationals had taken the lead on a two-run homer, and after Carl Edwards Jr. and Brian Duensing had failed to end the inning, Pedro Strop was brought in to try to limit the damage. Unfortunately, the first batter he faced – with two runners on and just one out – was Trea Turner, whose wrist Strop hit with a fastball.
You can see the pitch here, which clearly just got away from Strop (as many pitches do). It was unfortunate for the Cubs in the moment, as it loaded the bases, and the Nats scored another run before the inning was over.
It was even more unfortunate for Turner and the Nationals, because, although he stayed in the game at first, he departed in the 9th inning and X-rays after the game revealed a fracture in his wrist. How long he’ll be out is undetermined, though the Nationals already have a commanding lead in the NL East.
With one out in the 9th inning, Nationals reliever Blake Treinen hit Jeimer Candelario on the knee with a 99 mph fastball. You can see the pitch here. Again, it was likely inadvertent, though the circumstances, with Turner having just departed the game, and the Nationals up two, it’s not utterly inconceivable that there was some intent. My bet, though, is that it was just a pitch that got away.
Candelario departed the game after the top of the 9th, and also got X-rays after the game, which were negative (ESPN). He was still in a lot of pain after the game with a bruise, however, and it’s not entirely clear what his status will be over the next few days. With Kris Bryant already out (also for an undetermined length of time), it would be nice to have Candelario taking those starts at third base. Earlier in the game, Candelario hit his first big league homer.
Hopefully Turner is back swiftly, Candelario is fine after a little rest, and there is no bad blood between the teams who will be playing again later this year. No one needs to have any dangerous feelings lingering at that point.