In Thursday's Cubs-Nationals game, benches cleared in the sixth inning after Cubs reliever Lendy Castillo threw inside at Bryce Harper. Both benches cleared and the bullpens emptied onto the field. There was an incident at first base between Cubs reliever Manuel Corpas and Nationals reliever Mike Gonzalez led to both of their ejections, and Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was also ejected after shoving Michael Morse.
I have no issue with Castillo throwing at Harper. He didn't throw at his head. He threw a belt high, inside fastball at Harper, not something intended to injure by any means. Harper homered twice on Wednesday, and had two more hits during Thursday's game. The main point of contention was apparently Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth swinging away on a 3-0 count in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and Washington already leading the game 7-2. The Nationals also stole a pair of bases in that inning. The benches would clear after Werth swinging on 3-0, and there was a confrontation between Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk and Nationals third base coach Bo Porter.
During the first incident, Porter nearly entered the Cubs dugout to yell at Quirk and Chicago manager Dale Sveum. This probably didn't help the tempers of both teams during both bench clearing incidents. Somewhat miraculously, Porter was NOT ejected from the game despite essentially being the instigator of the whole mess and just about hopping into the Cubs dugout.
What really irks me is the pious, holier than thou attitude of Nationals announcers Bob Carpenter and FP Santangelo, opining that the Cubs are jealous of Washington's success and that the Nationals have done nothing wrong but "play the game the right way". Maybe it's just me, but hacking away on a 3-0 count while you're up five runs, and stealing multiple bases while leading by the same score (and Danny Espinosa also stole a base on Wednesday, with the Nationals leading the game 9-4 at the time) doesn't really scream "hard-nosed baseball", it screams "you're begging for a plunking".
Both of this incidents were just a ridiculous all-around display by the umpires in Washington, and the reaction from the Nationals towards Harper getting thrown inside on was absurd.
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I don't believe that the Nationals did anything wrong, but I do agree that the announcers were completely unprofessional. As an announcer, it helps to be unbiased, and to say that the Cubs were angry simply because they are no good or do not have a good record like the Nationals is ridiculous. I do not expect that out of an announcer, but maybe I am just used to ones that are mature.
I must admit. Porter should have been ejected. Whether he started it or not, he almost went in the opposing dugout.
Joe Lucia ... do you know anything about baseball and what it takes to win a game? By no means were the Cubs mathematically out of this game at the point of debate. PLUS for the Nationals to not do what they are supposed to do -- play the game to the best of their abilities is an idiotic premise to suggest. The Nats are, for the 1st time, headed to the post-season. They need to keep in top form to make a run for the World Series. To dumb down their game at this juncture would be detrimental to their ongoing play. Please spare me the 'he deserved the plunking' and offer up a more 'the Cubs need to grow up and get over it' line of reasoning.
Down 5 in the 5th... this game's not even close to over. You're only half way through the game, anything can happen. A five run lead can disappear in just one good (or bad) inning.
The Nationals better be trying to score more because the Cubs aren't giving up. The Cubs want to win and they're going to try and score.
This author, Joe Lucia doesn't seem to understand the concept of competition.
On July 21st, the Nats were up 9-0 on the Braves in the 5th inning...they lost 10-9.
So, the Cubs have 4 innings to score 5 runs assuming the Nats lay down like the author suggest. Oh, and one more
thing the author suggests "plunking a player" ..."I have no issue with Castillo throwing at Harper" He suggests it is harmless because of where it was thrown (not the head) hmmm. ever had a fastball hit your wrist or elbow there mr. Harmless? How different we all see things I guess but I would not make the mistake of characterizing this reaction by the Nats as Absurb....it does seem to me that the author is crying here.
Im a Braves fan so im not used to defending the Nats,but jeez louise the cry baby Cubs need to just take thier ball and go home.The Nats were well within their rights to play hard for 27 outs and if the whinny ass cubbys dont like it then they need to stop sucking and stop their opponent from scoring and or stealing bases.They were some of the worst winners Ive ever seen when they had that lil bit of success they had in 02 and 03...this team will NEVER make a world series...they suk...HOORAY for Steve Bartman
The Nats have been burned by not playing "hard-nosed baseball" with large leads ... once by the Cubs. So forgive this team if they don't subscribe to that particular unwritten rule. The Nats are in a pennant race and are playing to win. Sorry if the Cubs are not.
Another example of the ridiculousness of the 'unwritten rules' of baseball. If they were up 5 and it's the top of the 9th there might be something to this but it was the 5th inning...teams can come back from being down 5. You play to win the game not worry about how the other team might get mad because you're trying to score. If you get mad how about trying to hit the ball next time you're up. What this tells me is the Cubs gave up and instead of trying to come back and win they just wanted the game to be over with and go home. You play to win the games...this wasn't someone scoring a touchdown with 5 seconds left up 21 points. It's a team trying to get all the wins they can and getting insurance runs.
@_Blackhawk_ The writer of this article has the same losing attitude the Cubs do. Go get a job with them.....you'll fit right in.