John Lackey, Willson Contreras ejected after berating plate umpire

ByJesse Rogers via ESPN logo
Saturday, September 16, 2017

CHICAGO -- Cubs starter John Lackey and catcher Willson Contreras were both kicked out of Friday's 8-2 win over the Cardinals after arguing with plate umpire Jordan Baker following an apparent missed strike three call on St. Louis pitcher Carlos Martinez.

With two on and two out in the top of the fifth inning and a 2-2 count on Martinez, Lackey threw a slider that looked to be a strike. Even Martinez began to walk back to the dugout, but Baker called it a ball, setting Lackey off.

"He missed the pitch," Lackey said after the game. "It's a big spot in a huge game and he missed the pitch.

"He had no argument back. He was just trying to say 'that's enough.' Usually when they do that they know they missed it."

After a few harsh words, Lackey returned to the mound and his 3-2 pitch was hit into center field for a run-scoring single.

As Lackey ran to back up home plate, he screamed in Baker's face, getting kicked out in the process. Moments later, Contreras threw down his catcher's mask, which ended up hitting Baker in the leg. Contreras was also tossed after confronting Baker.

Lackey says he doesn't regret what he did.

"It was a pretty big spot right there. It cost me a big league win. Those don't grow on trees."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked if he wanted Lackey to do something besides blow up at the umpire.

"Why would I even think that? That's the definition of insanity. Why would I think he would change in that particular moment? So God bless him. It's who John is. I never want him to change. He's not going to change, so why even expect that?"

Contreras said his intention was not to hit anyone.

"I apologize to everybody, to the fans, to MLB, to the umpire. I'm sure if I see Jordan [Baker] tomorrow I will apologize to him."

Justin Wilson and Alex Avila took over on the mound and behind the plate and were able to end the inning on the next batter.