Benches clear between D-backs, Cubs after hit batter
PHOENIX — The Cubs seemed to have everything going their way in Saturday’s game at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Chicago third baseman David Bote found himself upset in the seventh inning.
That was because a Matt Koch pitch drilled Bote, who had homered in each of his two previous plate appearances. Bote, while in the process of taking his base, seemed to be gesturing in displeasure toward Koch. Koch put his palms up.
The benches cleared.
“This isn’t old-school baseball. We don’t play that here,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Just because somebody hits two home runs, we do not throw at batters. He hit two home runs, he deserved to hit two home runs, he took advantage of some pitches, and you know, if we’re going to make a mistake, he’s going to hit a third.
“That’s the type of hitter Bote is. He’s a young, up-and-coming hitter. So by no means did we throw at him. I don’t believe in that part of the game.”
Catcher John Ryan Murphy went out to step between Koch and Bote, the latter of whom seemed to be indicating that he had no intention of charging the mound. Nonetheless, all personnel from both sides emerged from their respective spectating areas — including the bullpen — to create a brief delay on the field.
“I don’t know exactly what [Bote] yelled,” Murphy said. “But I just saw him throw his bat in anger and yell at [Koch], so my job there is to stop anything from escalating. Unfortunately, it escalated, both dugouts came out, probably didn’t need to happen, but unfortunately, it did.”
The Bote hit-by-pitch was one of many errant pitches thrown by each team in the ballgame but only the second instance in the game that a batter was hit. In the first inning, D-backs outfielder Adam Jones was hit by a pitch that might’ve caught him in the head but instead got him in the arm as Jones was trying to get out of the way.
Later, Zack Godley ducked out of the way of a pitch that was thrown near his head. Other pitches by each team were thrown high and/or inside.
Lovullo was on the field speaking with the umpire after things calmed down.
“I was probably more in the wrong there, because I thought two of our players were ejected as I was moving out of the dugout,” Lovullo said. “I saw some hand gestures that were telling me a story of ejection. So I just wanted to know why he reacted the way he did. And as I was getting more an explanation, he was using the word ‘warning.’ So I understood that were warnings that were issued and no ejections.”
Saturday’s game was the fifth contest this year between the two teams. Sunday will be the final time they meet this regular season.
“You know, so much happened in that scrum,” Lovullo said. “Mike Butcher was mad at me because he said I was pushing him around, and I don’t even remember pushing Mike. So I’m apologizing to him for pushing him. I didn’t know what was going on.
“You just lose sight of things. You’re cautiously maneuvering and trying to get your players back so nobody gets into a situation that’s uncomfortable.”