Cubs’ Joe Maddon ejected, restrained in confronting Pirates’ Clint Hurdle
With the Pittsburgh Pirates going for a four-game sweep, things apparently reached a boiling point for Chicago Cubs manager Joe Madden on Thursday.
Maddon was ejected during the top of the fourth inning of the Fourth of July game at PNC Park, and the veteran manager stormed out of the dugout appearing to want to confront his Pirates counterpart, Clint Hurdle.
Joe Maddon with the X button. https://t.co/vdQ3JWAxMw
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 4, 2019
Maddon was upset after several Jordan Lyles pitches were high and inside during an at-bat by Cubs star Javier Baez. Home plate umpire Joe West stepped in front of Maddon, and members of the Cubs worked to restrain Maddon as well.
“I appreciate (pitching) inside; I don’t appreciate up and in,” Maddon told reporters, “and neither do the rest of us.”
Throughout the sequence, Hurdle remained on the top step of his team’s dugout on the opposite side of PNC Park.
Joe Maddon upset with Pirates manager for the high inside pitches. Goes after him. Is he trying to fire his listless team up? pic.twitter.com/tqwwCbVbQO
— Bears Barroom (@BearsBarroom) July 4, 2019
Four of the seven pitches from Lyles were high and inside on Baez, including one that induced a swing-and-miss to record a strikeout that ended the at-bat to loud cheers from those at PNC Park.
The big holiday crowd also cheered when West gestured to eject Maddon.
“(The Pirates) just need to be careful,” Maddon said. “I love their players. It’s a real good team. And they’re good guys… but if they keep pitching like that, a lot of these guys are not going to like their pitching staff.”
Joe Maddon vs Clint Hurdle. Who ya got? pic.twitter.com/FAKE9fjbvZ
— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) July 4, 2019
Hurdle said he didn’t hear what Maddon was saying or who he was saying it to. Hurdle noted that Lyles has hit just one batter all season.
“It’s not something that’s kind of in-character,” Hurdle said.
“Nobody likes the ball up and in, so I can understand there is some angst involved; 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 and I don’t know. But other than that, I don’t know.”
Asked if Maddon was directing his ire at Hurdle, Hurdle said: “If it’s something said to me, hopefully he will say it to me.”
Lyles stressed that he throws high fastballs as often as any pitcher in the majors.
“When I am locating quality pitches up and throwing four-seamers up in the zone close to guys’ hands, that makes my other pitches better,” Lyles said.
“That’s what I do.”
Lyles said he could not hear what Maddon was saying or to whom. Lyles said that Baez gave him a nod to let him know that he was OK with what transpired.
— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) July 4, 2019
When reliever Clay Holmes hit David Bode in the helmet with a 1-1 pitch (a 94 mph fastball) to drive in a run during the fifth inning, West issued official warnings to Holmes and the Pirates dugout.
Baez and Bote remained in the game after being tended to by training staff.
— 🎮 The Games Shed 🎮 (@GamesShed) July 4, 2019
The Cubs won the game, 11-3, to avoid being swept in a four-game series in Pittsburgh for the first time in 50 years.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .