Friday night, the struggling Cubs' offense got going and ended up helping the club win a 10-0 decision over the also-struggling White Sox. The Cubs had a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Willson Contreras connected for a three-run homer.
Contreras then flipped his bat insanely high into the air in celebration:
A few innings later, White Sox reliever Jimmy Cordero hit Contreras with a pitch and was ejected, along with manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Don Cooper -- who got pretty hot in the aftermath:
That's a fastball right toward the middle of the back to the tune of 97 miles per hour. The umpiring crew deemed it intentional and Major League Baseball appears to agree. Cordero has been suspended for three games and also fined an undisclosed amount while Renteria got a one-game suspension and Cooper has been fined.
Here's the MLB statement:
Chicago White Sox pitcher Jimmy Cordero has received a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally hitting Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs with a pitch during the top of the seventh inning of Friday night's game at Guaranteed Rate Field. Chris Young, Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine as a result of Cordero's intentional actions. Renteria will serve his suspension today, when these two Clubs continue their series in Chicago. In addition, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has received an undisclosed fine.
Unless appealed, Cordero may begin to serve his three-game suspension today. However, if Cordero elects to appeal, then the discipline will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.
If the White Sox were actually upset about Contreras' bat flip, that's pretty hypocritical, given the exploits of Tim Anderson and the whole "let the kids play" mantra the club has embraced. There was nary a word about the flip after the game, though, as Renteria simply said the pitch got away from Cordero.
The White Sox head to Saturday's game against the Cubs having lost six in a row. They are still 10 games over .500 at 34-24, but they now trail the Twins by a game for first place and are tied with Cleveland for second place.
The Cubs have lost five of seven. Before the 10-run onslaught on Friday night, the offense had only scored 10 runs in the previous seven games. Their magic number to clinch the NL Central is one over the Cardinals.