(CBS) A day later, Cubs manger Joe Maddon was still upset by home plate umpire Joe West’s actions in the ninth inning of Chicago’s 4-1 win at St. Louis on Monday night.
After right-hander Kyle Hendricks had his no-hitter broken up on a lead-off homer by Jeremy Hazelbaker in the bottom of the ninth, several Cubs infielders took a moment to visit with Hendricks on the mound. Maddon was planning to pull Hendricks in favor of closer Aroldis Chapman at that point, but Chapman wasn’t fully warmed up. So Maddon instructed catcher Miguel Montero to go out to the mound to buy a little time, at which point West told Montero that it would count as a mound visit, which confused Montero, who returned to his station behind the plate.
That decision was news to Maddon and “absurd” in his eyes, and he blew up at West, who then ejected Maddon.
“An umpire should understand the context of the moment, and that’s why I was so upset,” Maddon said Tuesday on the Spiegel and Goff Show.
“At that particular moment, all we needed was Aroldis to get a couple more pitches. That’s it. You don’t get the guy very hot from the beginning of the inning, because if you don’t need him, you don’t want him to get hot (fully warmed up) going into the next day’s game. So trying to avoid that. Once the home run is given up, you just want to give him a couple extra pitches to make sure. That’s all that was about, and Joe interceded in a situation he should not have. Never seen it done like that before, so that’s what got me upset. Furthermore, it detracts from Kyle’s particular moment. The Cardinals fans were outstanding. They were outstanding. He came up to hit (in the ninth), and they kind of gave him a standing ovation. It was a really great moment that Joe kind of screwed up.”
Maddon was also made a point to emphasize that West called a quality game Monday night.
“He’s a really good umpire,” Maddon said. “He had a great game behind the plate on ball and strikes.”
Listen to Maddon’s full interview with Spiegel and Goff below.