The Cubs were on their way to getting swept in the four-game series (they were outscored 31-9), when they decided to pick a fight with the Nats. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa both stole second for the Nats in the 5th when the team was up 7-2. The score was the same when Jayson Werth took a big cut at a 3-0 curveball later in the inning. That apparently was poor form in the eyes of the Cubs, so bench coach Jamie Quirk began calling out Nats third base coach Bo Porter, sparking the first of two bench-clearing scuffles.
“Here we are in the fifth inning, we’re in a pennant race, we’re going to swing 3-0, we’re going to do everything,” Nats manager Davey Johnson said, per The Washington Post. “We ain’t stopping trying to score runs. Certainly, a five-run lead at that time is nothing. I think it was the bench coach’s frustration in us handing it to them for a couple days. If they want to quit competing and forfeit, then fine. But we’re going to keep competing.”
The Nats pointed out that they blew a 9-0 lead to the Braves in July. Why should they stop trying when they’re up 7-2 with four innings left? Their logic makes complete sense while the Cubs’ doesn’t. Chicago apparently would like a rule put in place saying teams can no longer play hard when they’re up by 5-or-more runs.
Unless the Cubs are agreeing to call the game after four and a half innings and take a 7-2 loss, they shouldn’t say anything about the Nats continuing to try and win the game.
I’m really sick of the unwritten rules in baseball. It’s not like this was a D-I college powerhouse blowing out a D-III team 35-0 in the 8th and stealing bases, these are two Major League Baseball teams with paid professionals playing in a close game. There is no mercy, and teams shouldn’t ask for it. If there was a team that was wrong in the situation, it certainly was not the Nats. It was the Cubs.
Below is a video of the two fights: