We’ll get into this so much more when the dust has settled and the game isn’t still going on, but here’s your immediate hot take: blame everybody.
To set the stage, with the game tied in the 5th, two outs, two runners on and pitcher Carlos Martinez at the plate, John Lackey struck Martinez out looking. Obviously. This isn’t one of those “close calls” – it was a nearly dead center pitch. The kind that makes the batter walk away with his head down. Which Martinez did.
Except the ump didn’t move. He called pitch 5 a ball, and Lackey understandably lost his mind:
— Mick Gillispie (@BroadcasterMick) September 15, 2017
As you can see, Martinez took the next pitch out to right center to score a run and give the Cardinals the lead, and that’s when Lackey really lost it.
John Lackey just lost his mind after being denied a strike three call and then surrendering a RBI single to Cardinals P Carlos Martinez. pic.twitter.com/DHpaphVwnL
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) September 15, 2017
Lackey ran to cover home, but screamed wildly at the umpire in the process and was immediately booted. In the scrum that followed, Willson Contreras also got extremely angry, and was also booted.
Lackey/Contreras Ejection Sequence. pic.twitter.com/UciyjrOVBv
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 15, 2017
In that situation, I can’t tell you I wouldn’t have also freaked if I were Lackey or Contreras. The umpire blew it BIG time, and it cost the Cubs BIG time. Lackey was gonna get ejected no matter what after that hit, and I can understand him getting the boot, even if the ump needs to have a little thicker skin after blowing a call like that.
But to throw Contreras out in that situation is freaking ridiculous. Here’s hoping Contreras doesn’t now face discipline for the face mask bounce.
— MBDChicago (@MBDChicago) September 15, 2017
I’m just mad at everyone right now. Mostly the ump for blowing a critical call, and then tossing Contreras. But Lackey and Contreras had to figure out a better way to stay in that game.