The Colorado Rockies-Chicago Cubs NL wild-card game Tuesday gave us plenty of strange moments, including a catcher’s interference call in the bottom of the seventh and a pinch runner (for Anthony Rizzo, no less) stealing a base to set up the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. But a play on the basepaths in the bottom of the 11th inning may have been the strangest yet. With runners on first and second and one out, after a long delay to determine if batter Willson Contreras could continue after an injury, Contreras hit a ground ball to Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado. Javier Baez was running to third, and Arenado went and tagged him, and the two wound up in a hug:
You gonna tell me this country can't come together? pic.twitter.com/pe57vEkRvO
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 3, 2018
And that proved quite controversial, with Rockies’ manager Bud Black in particular arguing that Baez should have been called for interference with a potential double play. And he got some support from ESPN analyst Alex Rodriguez.
Many found that pretty funny coming from Rodriguez:https://twitter.com/Ridgellg22/status/1047343363270238208https://twitter.com/JaredMagen/status/1047342564695859208https://twitter.com/cashhartz/status/1047341736517718018https://twitter.com/joesonka/status/1047341360779579392On the ESPN2 Statcast, cooler heads prevailed, with Jason Benetti, Mike Petriello, and Eduardo Perez pointing out that Arenado didn’t make an effort to make a throw, and that he actually grabbed Baez as well instead:
And this led to some other funny jokes:
This is like Rocky IV but real(er) https://t.co/gL6113kpWB
— David Brown (@AnswerDave) October 3, 2018
When the runner hugs you while the play is still live pic.twitter.com/ydaBLyVTF4
— ᴍᴀᴛᴛ ᴊᴀᴍᴇs 973 (@_Matt_James_) October 3, 2018
At any rate, this was certainly unusual. And it provided even more ammunition for many to complain about A-Rod.