Matt Holliday had his eighth HBP this season by the inside fastball of Cubs Mike Montgomery in the tenth.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
PERSONAL VIEW AND EDITORIAL BLOG
The first game between the St. Louis Cardinals hosted by the Chicago Cubs was hard fought, great game that only one can expect between these to rival teams. Tied at the end of the ninth, into extra innings. Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery was on the hill top of the tenth. He had two outs on the board when Matt Holliday came to the plate.
Last season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon, during the Cardinals-Cubs series in September, had ranted about "The Cardinals Way" regarding HBP on Anthony Rizzo. In baseball, with retaliations, it happens. Cubs Anthony Rizzo became a part of the 30/30 Club with being a HBP last season. So, all, or most, of the MLB teams must have their own "ways", too. However, during the three game series, no player was hurt seriously and free passes ensued. In last night's game, Mr. Maddon, Montgomery created the 'The Cubs Vengeance" HBP.
During the Cardinals series, hosting the San Diego Padres, Andrew Cashner became a part of the elite "Vengeance" Club. Matt Holliday took a hit to the face. Fortunately, he turned in time away from the 95 MPH fastball, but not quite out of the way as the ball grazed his nose and split his lip. The following week, Cashner now with the Miami Marlins and back at Busch Stadium, hit rookie Aledmys Diaz in the right thumb on a HBP. Diaz suffered a hairline fracture and placed on the 15-Day DL.
So, Mr. Maddon, has Montgomery been studying Cashner's inside pitches to effect the injury creating HBP? Is that question about as ludicrous as your statement about "The Cardinals Way"? Yes. But, Mr. Maddon, Montgomery's pitch just started yet another interesting aspect for the next three games of the current series. And, this happened on your watch first.
In Holliday's appearance, in the tenth, he too took a hit to his right thumb. What I did not appreciate was the statement by the Cubs announcers that "Holliday was faking", when he was in obvious pain. A camera shot showed the immediately swollen thumb. Later reported, Holliday did sustain a fractured thumb and placed on the DL. And for those in the booth, Cubs catcher David Ross knew, Holliday took the hit that was headed straight at Ross's head as he quickly got out of the way.
Matt Holliday sustained a fractured right thumb being HBP.
Per Montgomery (ESPN/AP Recap): "I definitely feel for him," Montgomery said. "It wasn't on purpose. It's just one of those pitches that's a big part of the game, going inside, and it just got away." In my opinion, this is a statement of "The Cubs Vengeance" HBP.
Unintentional? It was deemed so by Montgomery. Evidently not intentional by Maddon's standards, because Montgomery stayed in the game. Not only to finish the tenth; but, returned for the eleventh. So, Mr. Maddon, on your watch a HBP is okay? Just keep in mind, your "Cubs issued the first". In baseball, it is a pitcher's nature, even though they will be advised against any further action, to realize the strong possibility of another, or more.
Today's game is scheduled at 1:20 CST for the first pitch. There is also a full day of rain predicted for the Chicago area. Maybe it would be best if Mother Nature played her hand to let tempers "chill" before either team takes the field for Game Two.
This is major league baseball. Players have strong emotions regarding injury of their own. With this intense rival between these two teams, stoked by the "Maddon Affect", even rain will not help to cool underlining tempers.