Kyle Schwarber thought he had just worked a walk and instead watched as third base umpire Gabe Morales rung him up on a check swing.
The Cubs left fielder reacted instantly, slamming his helmet on the ground while pointing and shouting at Morales and starting down the third base line.
Teammates Javy Baez and Jason Heyward intervened and manager Joe Maddon went out to plead his case to Morales and the rest of the crew, but the damage was done — the Cubs had lost the game and Schwarber was officially ejected by two umpires.
Here's the full sequence:
Kyle Schwarber got rung up to end the Cubs' rally today. He was NOT happy pic.twitter.com/L4MBtUdYTU— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) April 13, 2019
"I was a little hot," Schwarber admitted after the game. "I've been able to calm down now. I wasn't the happiest person in the world."
Schwarber had worked the at-bat to a full count against Angels closer Cody Allen before the check swing on the curveball in the dirt.
The Cubs had runners on second and third and two outs as they trailed by a run, attempting to complete a comeback that saw them score a run earlier in the ninth inning and a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth.
"I took a look at [the replay] and if I didn't go the first time, I didn't go the second time," Schwarber said, referencing an earlier check-swing call in the at-bat where Morales said he did not go around. "If you're not 100 percent sure, you can't call it. Obviously I was frustrated. Who's not gonna be frustrated when they end the game like that and you're that close to sniffing out a run? Frustrating. I just don't think that it was a good call.
"I just didn't like the way it ended. Grinding out an at-bat against that guy. It's a big situation right there and worked him and got in a hitter's count and spit some pitches and then you gotta battle against him. I thought I didn't go and he thought I did."
Replays showed a very, very close call that probably could've gone either way. Had Morales said Schwarber did not go around, the Angels would've been mighty upset. The way this played out, the Cubs were upset.
Maddon didn't think Schwarber went around either, backing his player after the game:
"Everybody's worried about electronic strike zone," the Cubs skipper said. "I want an electronic method to control check swings. That would be much more interesting and I would prefer that. Let the umpires call the game like they always do. Let's figure out a way to control check swings."
Regardless of the call, the Cubs walked 8 batters and gave up 6 runs to an Angels team missing its entire heart of the order — Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton are all hurt and Albert Pujols gave way to Justin Bour at first base with no DH in a National League park.
The Cubs also let another hitter reach on a catcher's interference — the fourth of the season already — and failed to cash in enough in the run column on 9 hits, 7 walks and a crucial ninth-inning error as Angels left fielder Brian Goodwin dropped Jason Heyward's fly ball two batters before Schwarber came to the plate.
The end result is the Cubs' ninth loss in the first 14 games of the season.