‘Enough is enough’: Cubs have Willson Contreras’ back after plunkings
Willson Contreras has always played with passion and fire and over the last couple nights, that emotion has boiled over.
Contreras got hit in the head with a 93 mph fastball from Brewers reliever Devin Williams in Monday night’s game and then was plunked again in the 9th inning of Tuesday’s contest.
After the second incident, Contreras immediately started toward the mound and barked back at the Brewers, sparking a benches-clearing incident that was soon smoothed over.
After the game, David Ross backed his catcher.
“[He] just took exception to getting hit in the head yesterday and then up around the shoulder/elbow area,” Ross said. “It’s scary right now. At some point, you have to be better. You just can’t continue to try to pitch in and hit guys. You gotta be better.”
The follow morning, Ross took the same tone, saying Contreras’ reaction was “warranted” even though he — and the Cubs — understand there was nothing intentional about it.
“No, I don’t think in a 4-0 game with the leadoff hitter they were trying to hit Willson yesterday,” Ross said. “I don’t think Willson believes that, I don’t think we believe that as a team. At some point, enough is enough and whether it’s intentional or unintentional, there’s usually consequences to those things.
“Pitching in is important in baseball — you have to pitch in — but sometimes you’re gonna mess up and hit a guy. But when it’s consistent, emotions flair. Emotions get out of control and there’s consequences.”
Contreras made sure to point out after Monday night’s game that he understood it was not intentional by Williams to hit him in the head. But the Cubs catcher also thought back to the second game of the 2020 season when Williams again hit him with a pitch.
“It was a scary moment for everyone,” Contreras said. “You don’t expect to get hit in the head. I feel like you know your staff and you know your pitchers and if you know the guy can’t throw fastballs in, I don’t get why you call it.
“He hit me last year in the same situation — he tried to go in and he hit me in the wrist. I’m not blaming him, I’m not blaming nobody but it’s just part of the game. That was not intentional.”
Those two instances are the only times Williams has hit a player with a pitch over the last two seasons.
Contreras has been hit by the Brewers quite a bit throughout his career — 11 times, to be exact. That’s nearly twice as many as the next-closest team (Reds – 6).
During the shortened season last year, Contreras was plunked four separate times by Brewers pitchers.
Contreras had a regularly scheduled off-day for Wednesday’s series finale with the Brewers, but these two teams meet next week in Milwaukee and again later this month (April 23-25 at Wrigley).