Wrigley Field was the setting of another intense weekend when the Chicago Cubs hosted the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game set. The Cards lost the first two games before winning on Sunday to avoid the sweep and re-assert their dominance in the NL Central.
The games weren’t without a bit of drama caused by hit batters: On Friday, Matt Holliday was hit in the head by an errant pitch. Later in that game, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was plunked by the Cardinals.
On Saturday, Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong was drilled by two separate pitches in the sixth and eighth innings and told MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch afterward that, "I was pretty [upset] that not once, but twice I got hit. I don’t know how to explain it, but I didn’t like it."
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Langosch mentioned that the Cardinals were tense on Saturday after the game and all the hit-by-pitch happenings, but Wong rationalized it all as ‘part of the game’, so to speak: "I think any time you hit somebody in the head, regardless if it’s meant to happen or not, that’s not OK. We didn’t hit Rizzo in any place that, I don’t think, is even going to give him a bruise. It’s postseason baseball. Everyone is ready to go. Tensions are up. Things are going to happen."
He continued with Langosch, touching on the heated rivalry between the Cards and the upstart Cubs this season, as it’s been a long time since Chicago fielded a club as strong as Joe Maddon’s crew this season: "Obviously, rivalries are going to heat up again and guys are going to start being a little more tense around this time. That’s good. That’s good for baseball. It’s good for this division, because it brings back a lot more excitement that we didn’t have with these guys."
As it stands now, the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates would do battle in the NL Wild Card game. If the Cubs advance and wind up taking on the Cardinals in the postseason, expect even more theatrics on the diamond.