The rivalry between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs is alive and well.
If you thought things have been getting chippy between the Brewers and Cubs, you’d be right. Things have been escalating early this season, and the player at the heart of it all is Cubs catcher Willson Contreras.
Willson Contreras and the Cubs have been further escalating the rivalry with the Milwaukee Brewers.
First, a brief history lesson. Things started kicking up after an errant Devin Williams pitch hit Contreras in the helmet. There was no intent, but understandably, Contreras was miffed. Then the next day, Contreras gets hit again, this time on the arm, and starts yelling at Brad Boxberger.
Earlier in that same game, Contreras was caught leaning his arm over the plate in a purposeful attempt to get hit by a pitch. He seemed to just want to stir the pot with the Brewers and was successful in the 9th inning and got the benches to clear.
Fast forward to Tuesday night, and Contreras once again gets hit by a pitch, this time from Brandon Woodruff in the 4th inning. No intent behind it, but Contreras has liked to stir the pot about this before.
Then, in the 5th inning, Brandon Woodruff comes up to hit and the first pitch is behind Woodruff.
Woodruff is upset, because he knows what’s been going on between the two sides, and with Contreras calling pitches, it’s easy to make a connection.
Intentionally throwing at pitchers is rarely seen, but Woodruff could sense that was what was going on.
Typically, after events like that, both sides say something along the lines of “just trying to pitch inside, one got away from me, etc.” and no one really admits to intentionally throwing at somebody.
But Willson Contreras does.
Fresh off his go ahead home run in the 8th, Contreras was feeling confident enough to drop this bombshell.
It’s pretty clear that Contreras admits they were trying to hit the pitcher, Brandon Woodruff. He admits they shouldn’t have gone after Woodruff, but then goes on to say they should go after a position player.
This is incredibly dangerous.
Playing beanball back and forth, hitting everybody that comes up isn’t a good game to play regardless, but to publicly admit that the Cubs were throwing intentionally at an opposing hitter, the team’s ace starting pitcher no less, is just a classless and reckless move.
MLB needs to come down with some sort of punishment for Contreras and the Cubs. They cannot allow this to fly. Things will only get worse if they let this go unchecked. Woodruff was measured in his comments after the game, but Craig Counsell stated that he was concerned about it and Contreras’ comments should cause more alarm.
There is clearly no love lost between the Brewers and Cubs, and Contreras is embracing the role of the villain as shown by his home run trot around the bases in the eighth inning, shushing the crowd with his finger.
But Contreras crossed a line with the intentional throwing at Woodruff. He needs to be punished by MLB for that.
These two teams will play each other again on Wednesday, then three more times this month, and 10 more times this season after that.