With the year coming to a close, NBC Sports Chicago is looking back on the top moments from the 2019 Cubs season.
For a moment there, it felt like we were watching a game of Madden football rather than Joe Maddon’s Cubs take on the Pirates one game last season.
Maddon generated Madden vibes on the Fourth of July during an on-field incident in which he was ejected by home plate umpire Joe West. The Pirates’ pitching philosophy entails throwing inside, but if they miss their spot, a pitch could almost or actually hit a batter.
In the fourth inning, Pirates starter Jordan Lyles threw four of seven pitches up-and-in during a Javier Baez at-bat. One of those four hit the knob of Baez’s bat, drawing the ire of the Cubs shortstop and Maddon.
Maddon yelled at Pirates manager Clint Hurdle from the Cubs dugout before running onto the field to confront him. West blocked the Cubs manager’s path, but Maddon hit the ‘B’ button, unleashing a spin move to get to Hurdle.
West is 6-foot-1, 275 pounds, so Maddon’s spin didn’t get him very far. He also had Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) holding him back, so the odds were stacked against him getting to Hurdle.
Although he was ejected from the game, Maddon’s escapade sparked the Cubs, who entered the game having lost five of their last six and were 8-15 over their previous 23 games. The game was tied 3-3 at the point of the spin move, but the Cubs scored five times in the fifth inning and won 11-3.
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