The 40,717 people that were on hand today to watch the Chicago Cubs defeat the Chicago White Sox got to witness some strange things happen at Wrigley Field. First, White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon became the first pitcher since at least 1913 to strike out at least 11 batters in an outing of four innings or fewer. Second, a game of “bean ball” broke out as Cubs starter John Lackey plunked four White Sox hitters to which White Sox reliever Chris Beck responded by drilling Cubs rookie Ian Happ in the back of the leg. Lastly, Cubs infielder Javier Baez somehow managed to one-up the infamous “golden sombrero” by becoming the first Cub to strikeout five times in a game since Ted Lilly and Geovany Soto “accomplished” that feat back in 2008.
The craziest moment of the game however came in the bottom of the fourth inning when Cubs superstar (and overall nice guy) Kris Bryant earned his first career MLB ejection after he argued a called third strike with home plate umpire Lance Barksdale.
Kris Bryant ejected from today's game. Rare to see him argue but rightfully so on a terrible call. pic.twitter.com/nUcb9kaJB4
— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) July 25, 2017
I will truly put my Cubs bias aside when I say that was maybe one of the worst f*cking calls I’ve ever seen in my life. If you look at ‘Pitchcast,’ it has the called third strike AT LEAST six inches off the inside of the plate. Even during the argument, Bryant didn’t blow up and make a scene, he stayed calm and said his piece.
I was reading some tweets during the game calling Bryant a baby for arguing but as it turns out, he was absolutely right to argue that call. After the game, he was asked about his ejection and he essentially said the only time he argues pitch calls is when he knows for a fact that he’s right.
So how right was he to argue this call?
100% (and not because I’m a fan but because of cold hard facts.)
Per Jesse Rogers of ESPN,
“According to ESPN Stats and Information, the pitch on which Kris Bryant was called out on, leading to his ejection, has been called a strike in a 2-2 count to a right handed batter 0 percent of the time this season.”
ZERO PERCENT! That’s how bad of a call that was. In all the 2-2 counts in baseball this season to all of the right handed hitters in the league, that same pitch that Bryant argued was NEVER CALLED A STRIKE BEFORE.
Even after the ejection, Cubs manager Joe Maddon came out to talk to Barksdale to get some clarity as to why Bryant was ejected. Barksdale told Maddon that even as pissed off as Bryant was, he still didn’t curse. Maddon’s response to that is pure comedy.
“I said, ‘What did he say?’ And he told me. I’m thinking, ‘My gosh; that’s not harsh enough.’ I mean, I’ve clearly said a lot harsher than that. I did not want to get kicked out at that moment. I was not really worth it at that moment. It was so awkwardly benign…”
It was probably so awkward because Bryant rarely curses so when he does, you know something has to be wrong. To be honest with you, I’m sure Bryant probably dropped a few four-letter words and I say that because during a post-game interview, he didn’t confirm (or deny) that he cursed at Lance Barksdale. However, when you make that shitty of a call, you deserve every four-letter word that comes your way.
Bryant went on to say that he felt like he had to “stand up for himself” by arguing the call and I’m glad he did. Even though nobody knows exactly what was said besides Bryant and Barksdale, KB did let out a pretty serious ‘dang’ during his post-game interview.
No word yet if he’ll be suspended for cursing at the media.