What at the time was a game-saving play ended up being mighty costly for the San Diego Padres on Monday night at Wrigley Field — and manager Andy Green was none too pleased.
Green voiced his displeasure postgame with what he called a "cheap shot" executed by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in what ended up a 3-2 win for the North Siders.
In the sixth inning, the Padres had a 2-1 lead, only for Rizzo to start that frame with a triple. But after an Ian Happ strikeout, Kris Bryant lined a pitch to former Cub Matt Szczur in center field, and Szczur delivered a strike to home plate to nail Rizzo for an inning-ending double play that momentarily kept the Padres in front.
But that wasn't all, as Rizzo crashed into Padres catcher Austin Hedges at the plate, the full momentum of the big first baseman knocking Hedges over and forcing him to leave the game with a bruised thigh.
After the game, Green — who said Hedges probably won't be able to play Tuesday — was none too happy with Rizzo's actions.
Take a listen:
Andy Green says Anthony Rizzo's slide was a 'cheap shot' pic.twitter.com/H1IEcqLRF4— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) June 20, 2017
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Unsurprisingly, Rizzo, Joe Maddon and Rizzo's teammates didn't see anything wrong with Rizzo's play at the plate, a one-time baseball frequency now turned rarity thanks to the "Buster Posey Rule." That rule has now made it so every time there's some contact, one manager or another is unhappy.
Monday night, it was Green playing that role. As he mentioned, the rule states that a runner can't leave his "direct pathway" with the intent of making contact with the catcher.
Did Rizzo violate the rule? The umpires didn't really need to make that decision because Hedges held on to the ball for an inning-ending double play. If the umpire thought Rizzo did do that and Hedges had lost the ball, a hypothetical run could've been taken off the board and a double play could've been called. But Hedges kept the ball, so Rizzo was out anyway and we're left with two teams defining "cheap shot."
Indeed, it's not difficult to imagine Maddon being upset had his catcher been the one run into at home plate — and his managerial ire was on display earlier this season when a contact play at second base went against the Cubs in St. Louis.
But now we have a new controversy on our hands in a series with two games to go, a fact so inelegantly pointed out by the @PadresRadio Twitter account.
You know this seems like an all-too-obvious joke, but ... stay classy, San Diego.