About Yesterday’s Shenanigans, and Moving On Today

There’s bad blood. Has been for years. But, still, I just hope there is no spillover from yesterday, for either side. Let it be what it was, and everyone just pitch safely today, ‘kay?

As for what it was, Andrew McCutchen made some understandable points in general after he was plunked in apparent retaliation for the constant barrage of Brewers pitches hitting Cubs batters (the most recent of which sent Ian Happ for X-rays). But I don’t think the Cubs were actually trying to injure McCutchen, and certainly the subsequent HBP – Christian Yelich in the foot on a low and in Ethan Roberts slider – was as unintentional as they come.

As for Happ, fortunately the X-rays were negative after he took a pitch to the knee, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be pain. He’s out of the lineup today, and the soreness is definitely going to kick in today. You just hope (1) he can play in the next game, and (2) his game isn’t altered because of a lingering bone bruise or something.

For the Cubs’ part, I think Willson Contreras said it best, and we’ve all BEEN saying it for years now (via Jordan Bastian):

“Last year, I get it. I was kind of on top of the plate. This year I’m farther back of the plate, and I’m still getting hit. I don’t think that’s big league pitching. Big league pitching knows how to command the fastball …. I know they’re not trying to [hit me on purpose], but like I’ve said before, if you don’t have the command to go in, just don’t go, because you’re going to get somebody hurt.”

That’s the size of it, especially on Contreras, who has been hit by Milwaukee pitching TEN times now in the last 31 games against them! That’s one out of every three Cubs-Brewers games, Willy is getting hit. ABSURD.

From Justin Steele (NBCSC): “Would you get frustrated if you got hit, what was it, 12 or 14 times? I mean, yeah, I would be frustrated.”

From David Ross (NBCSC): “Nobody likes to get hit over and over again and by the same group. I can’t predict the future, but the past would represent something, not much change, I would say.” Ross also said this about the Thompson pitch: “A lot of balls getting away from guys the last couple of days. This game has a way sometimes just of policing itself. It wasn’t really on my radar with the first pitch slider, with strike one, getting ahead, and then one in. Looked like he lost a couple of them.”

To that end, neither Thompson nor Contreras even hinted at the pitch that hit McCutchen being intentional, despite how it appeared to outside observers (NBCSC):

“I wasn’t really expecting them to think I had any intention into it. Just working on things,” Thompson said. “Even though it’s not a close ballgame, you just can’t take pitches off as a pitcher. I still have to go at the guy and still try and do your best and make good pitches.”

“If it was intentional, we probably would have hit him on the first pitch, but we didn’t,” Contreras said. “Keegan is a great guy and is not trying to get anybody hurt. It wasn’t intentional, it got away from him.”

Again, conclude whatever you want. I hate seeing guys hit, whether as intentional retaliation or because a pitcher can’t safely locate pitches inside. So, like I said at the top, let’s just let yesterday be yesterday, and move on today?

In conclusion, Keegan Thompson’s ejection reaction is art:

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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