Reds 3, Cubs 2
CHICAGO (AP)—This time, it was Kerry Wood who lost his cool—and it cost the Cubs the game.
A day after Chicago manager Dusty Baker’s angry outburst resulted in his ejection, an irate Wood was tossed in the ninth inning after a heated confrontation with home plate umpire Eric Cooper over balls and strikes.
“I made a comment and off flies the mask and here we go,” said Wood, who had two run-ins with Cooper in the ninth. “It is what it is and you got adrenaline and all that stuff. There were a few pitches I thought didn’t go my way. Unfortunately, I let it build up until the last inning.”
“He started yelling and Eric did what he had to do and let him know the pitches weren’t strikes,” crew chief Mike Reilly said.
After Cooper returned to the plate and Wood to the mound, Ryan Freel’s bunt moved both runners up before Jason LaRue tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Pena then doubled in the go-ahead run as Baker came out to remove Wood.
As Wood was being taken out of the game, he sprinted to the plate and began screaming at Cooper before he was ejected.
“He made me nervous because he had a full head of steam. I didn’t want him to bump him,” said Baker, who’d thrown his own temper tantrum Friday after being ejected over a double switch disagreement.
“I didn’t know that kind of brakes he (Wood) had. Evidently he has good brakes,” Baker added.
As he walked down the dugout, Wood heaved a batting helmet and gloves onto the field before departing. Fans at Wrigley Field littered the warning track with debris and the game was held up for several minutes while the grounds crew cleaned it up.
“Obviously he went down and confronted Eric Cooper and was complaining. That’s pretty obvious what he did there,” Reilly said of Wood’s ejection.
Asked if there was a pattern to the growing tension the last two days—Reds manager Dave Miley was also ejected Friday—Reilly said no.
“I think it’s pretty much a coincidence,” he said.
“These last couple of games have been unbelievable,” said Reds closer Danny Graves, who got his fifth save by pitching the ninth. He’d blown the save Friday.
“Two managers getting thrown out yesterday and then Kerry Wood getting thrown out. It’s almost feels like it is the postseason.”
Wood allowed three runs and six hits in 8 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked three. He’s hoping Cooper has a short memory.
“Hopefully he won’t hold any grudges. I won’t,” Wood said.
Ryan Wagner (1-1) pitched the eighth for the win.
Dunn’s homer in the seventh against a 10 mph wind cuts the Cubs’ lead to 2-1.
Dunn said the two pitches to him in the ninth were just like Cooper called them.
“The 2-2 was way out, the 3-2, it was a ball,” Dunn said. “Kerry was throwing well and for us to come back and win is a huge lift after giving one away yesterday.”
Reds starter Cory Lidle gave up seven hits and a pair of runs in seven innings. Two shaky plays by third baseman Freel helped the Cubs break through for two runs in the sixth.
Freel fielded Sosa’s deep grounder and threw low to first allowing Sosa to reach on what was ruled an infield single. Sosa raced to third on Alou’s bloop single to left and scored on Aramis Ramirez’s grounder to Freel, who appeared to have plenty of time to throw home to catch a breaking Sosa. But instead, he went to first as the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Derrek Lee followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.
Baker’s son, Darren, has a new name for his dad: “Mad Dog” after the Cubs manager was ejected from Friday’s game. Baker was ejected after a mix-up over a double switch that resulted in Ramon Martinez being called out for batting out of order, right after he’d doubled. Baker threw his lineup card and cap during his outburst and said Saturday he expects to be fined. But he was more worried about the impression it made on his son. “When I got home last night and knocked on his door, he was like “There he is mom. There’s the mad dog, mom. … “It’s not a very good example for my son,” he said. … Umpire Chuck Meriwether, who left Friday’s game in the fifth inning because of foodpoisoning, was back Saturday.