MILWAUKEE — Willson Contreras never backs down from a battle.
The Cubs' fiery catcher was caught on camera in the eighth inning of Sunday's game with an expletive-laden reaction while standing on third base after hitting a triple off Brewers reliever Adrian Houser:
Not sure what Willson is saying here. Can anyone read lips? pic.twitter.com/EWBsyOAJ6d— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) April 8, 2018
While it initially appeared as if Contreras was mouthing that at Houser, he clarified after the game it was meant for a Brewers player in the dugout:
"Not with him. I have nothing against the pitcher," Contreras said. "He's doing his job. He can do whatever he wants. But there was one person from them that I don't like and that was something that came out.
"We battled, I won the battle and that feels good. I'm excited. And also one of them doing different things towards me and I took it personally. We had an incident back in Venezuela back in 2014 and he knows who he is."
Contreras said Houser was quick-pitching him throughout the 10-pitch at-bat. After Houser's 3-1 delivery, Contreras threw the bat down, thinking it was Ball 4, but the pitch was actually called Strike 2 and the at-bat resumed.
On the pitch he roped for a triple, Contreras admitted he was actually trying to call for time from home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth, but time was not granted and so the Cubs catcher was forced to swing.
"He was throwing fastballs at 96, 97 (mph) and I was calling time out and he didn't give me a time out, so I was able to put a barrel on it," Contreras said.
The 25-year-old catcher had a big series, collecting 6 hits in 14 at-bats in Milwaukee, raising his season slash line to .286/.375/.429 (.804 OPS) on the year.
He also caught every inning of the four-game series as the Cubs pitching staff limited the Brewers to just 7 runs across 35.1 innings.