MILWAUKEE – Infuriated about the plate umpire and the ballpark roof, Chicago Cubs manager David Ross let loose after Tuesday’s wild extra-inning win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cubs blew a late four-run lead but rebounded to beat the Brewers 7-6 in 11 innings when left fielder Ian Happ threw out two runners at the plate in extra innings. Ross praised his team’s resiliency, but many of his postgame comments focused on a series of “frustrating” events throughout the game.
With Cubs All-Star Dansby Swanson at the plate in the 11th, first base coach Mike Napoli was ejected for arguing ball-strike calls made by plate umpire Erich Bacchus. After Napoli trudged off the field to applause from the Cubs dugout, Ross came onto the field to argue with Bacchus and also was ejected.
“Guys were starting to get frustrated,” Ross said. “I know it’s not an easy job but some of the pitches that got called (strikes) weren’t even close.”
Ross was perturbed that Bacchus prematurely called out Swanson when there were only two strikes, and he felt a Brewers baserunner had interfered with a throw earlier in the game that allowed a run to score.
In the sixth, with the Cubs leading 4-1, Christian Yelich singled with one out and stole second. William Contreras hit a squibber in front of the plate for what was ruled an infield single, with Yelich scoring on an errant throw that skipped into right field. The play led to a heated argument between Ross and Bacchus over whether Contreras got in the way of the throw to first from catcher Miguel Amaya.
Ross’ displeasure didn’t end there. He also questioned why the Brewers closed the retractable roof at American Family Field on a mostly sunny afternoon.
“They were closing the roof to get rid of the shadows late,” Ross said. “It was really frustrating.”
When asked if it was permissible for the Brewers to close the roof without a weather-related issue, Ross responded with a profanity-laced answer.
“There were so many things today that I thought weren’t good,” he said. “I’ve got terrible language today. I apologize.”
Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner, who was on first base in the 11th after driving in the go-ahead run with an infield single, said he, too, was upset with many of the umpires’ calls, especially the strike-three call on Swanson.
“From my vantage point, I was frustrated with that call and how the game had been,” Hoerner said. “But Napoli took care of it from there.”