Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon watched the final 5½ innings of his team’s 11-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates from the clubhouse Thursday after getting tossed following an exchange with those in the opposing dugout over their insistence on pitching up-and-in.
Maddon appeared to take exception with Pittsburgh’s Jordan Lyles pitching up and in to All-Star Javier Baez in the top of the fourth inning. After a 3-2 pitch just missed hitting Baez and fouled off the knob of his bat, Maddon had to be restrained by plate umpire Joe West while appearing to make his way toward the Pirates’ dugout.
Following the game, Maddon said the Pirates have a reputation around baseball for throwing pitches up and in.
“I mean, pent up frustration is one thing, but when your guys keep getting thrown at their head that’s another thing too,” Maddon said. “It’s an industry-wide concept that we know that they are into and I have it from really good sources.”
Maddon walked onto the field pointing his finger in a direction where Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was standing. West and Kris Bryant, who was on deck, teamed up to hold Maddon back while Hurdle watched from just outside the Pittsburgh dugout.
Maddon said he wasn’t directing his ire toward Hurdle but didn’t identify his target.
“Well [West is] concerned that I am inciting something and I wasn’t even yelling at Clinton,” Maddon said. “I had direction.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon is ejected after arguing with the Pirates’ bench because of pitch that was up and in to Javy Baez.
Lyles didn’t hit a batter in the game and Hurdle pointed out that he’s hit just one batter all year.
“Nobody likes the ball up and in, so I can understand there is some angst involved,” Hurdle said. “There’s always going to be angst involved in the game of baseball. A manager is always going to try to protect his team and share his feelings.”
Lyles shook off the criticism, pointing out going inside is part of his typical game plan.
“I throw a lot of heaters up at hitters’ hands,” Lyles said. “And then I think it was the foul ball, which created Joe to come out. But other than that, Baez said he was good. Everything was fine. Maybe he was trying to get the boys to get a little light up in them.”
The inning following Maddon’s ejection, Pirates reliever Clay Holmes hit Cubs third baseman David Bote in the head with the bases loaded — a moment that didn’t surprise Maddon given what was happening all series.
“It was getting way too out of control, culminating in David getting hit in the head,” Maddon said. “I have no issues with pitching inside. I’m an advocate, but when you [throw] that many pitches, not just that tonight, but it’s been that way somewhat during the entire series. They have their pitching philosophy which again I appreciate outside, I don’t appreciate up and in. Neither do the rest of us, they just need to be careful.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.