With the Cubs and Cardinals scoreless in the bottom of the 3rd, Matt Wieters doubled to give the home team a great chance to take an early lead. St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas then dribbled a ball to the left side that Javy Báez scooped up and fired to David Bote, who was covering first.
The throw was both late and wide and Mikolas would have beaten it cleanly, but replay revealed that he’d pulled the bush-league A-Rod move of reaching out to slap/grap Bote’s arm on the way by.
There was a bit of “no harm, no foul” talk going around in the aftermath of the play Wednesday night, but that’s missing all the points. While Mikolas would have been safe even without interference — which isn’t reviewable, by the way — this kind of BS has no place in the game and shouldn’t be rewarded. Or, more accurately, it shouldn’t go unpunished.
What’s more, the play allowed Wieters to advance to third with no outs on what was scored an error on Báez. Had Kyle Hendricks not been able to escape with a strikeout and a pair of grounders, that garbage play at first could have been what Pat Hughes would surely call a turning point. And Ron Coomer would have agreed.
Mikolas took no real ownership of the play after the game, instead claiming that he was actually trying to avoid making contact with Bote, who was standing in the baseline. Borrowing a line from Happy Gilmore, Mikolas said Bote “shouldn’t have been standing there,” something Adam Sandler’s titular character says after plunking a man in the street with a driven golf ball.
Mikolas said Bote was in the line covering first and he was trying to make minimal contact on the way by. Then he dropped a Happy Gilmore line: “Shouldn’t have been standing there.”
Later, very kiddingly, he said Bote was lucky they weren’t scraping him off the dirt. #stlcards
— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) August 1, 2019
Oh well, I guess it’s par for the course from a man dubbed Lizard King after eating a live lizard during an Arizona Fall League game while with the Padres organization back in 2011.