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Joe Maddon Gets Ejected in Game 1 of the NLCS

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

A call at home plate was reversed after officials reviewed it during the bottom of the 7th inning, and Joe Maddon was not happy.

Chicago Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras appeared to have tagged out Charlie Culberson after a great throw from left fielder Kyle Schwarber, but Dodgers shortstop Charlie Culberson had been unable to score because of an illegal move by Contreras at home plate.

The highly assertive Chicago catcher is known for making remarkable plays on the defensive end, but a minor mishap came back to haunt him in the long run. It appeared as if Contreras made a regular baseball play to the naked eye, but the call at home plate was reversed after a second look from replay officials.

Contreras stuck his left leg out in from of the plate before he had control of the baseball, and tagged Culberson in time, thus keeping him from eventually extending the lead to three runs during the 7th.

After extensive review, and an official overturned call; Cubs Manager Joe Maddon was ejected from the game after displaying his displeasure while objecting the call towards the umpires.

Here’s what Maddon had to say after the Cubs defeat in Game 1:

I, from day one, have disagreed with the context of that rule. I think it’s wrong. I think if there’s anybody that’s played Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball, then they’ll agree with me 100 percent.

The Cubs skipper makes a good point, but it goes both ways. Sure, Contreras made a great play at the plate in a traditional sense, but that’s not the way it works anymore. By rule, the call by the officials was made correctly, and benefited the Dodgers at the end of Game 1.

Rule 7.13

  • Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of a runner as he is attempting to score. If, in judgement of the Umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.

It didn’t turn out well for the Cubs, but that play wasn’t the only reason why they lost Saturday night. In contrast, Chicago should actually feel fortunate that their star catcher wasn’t taken out of the game if Culberson would’ve ran into him instead.

Nevertheless, the Dodgers used another magical postseason moment to their advantage, and solidified their victory against the defending champions. A lot of credit has to go to hitting coach Turner Ward, and the Dodgers hitters, because they were able to rally from a 2-0 deficit by taking advantage of a dismantled Cubs pitching staff. Chicago’s bullpen continued to struggle against opposing batters, and the Dodgers certainly took advantage of their matchups after Jose Quintana was pulled out of the ball game.

LA prevailed, and took the NLCS lead without premier player Corey Seager in the lineup. Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner and second-game starter Charlie Culberson made big plays on the offensive end once the Cubs decided to unleash their relievers into the ball game.

If there’s anything for Joe Maddon to be disappointed about, it should be directed towards the weaknesses and lack of firepower within the Cubs bullpen.

Written by Kendall Lewis

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