In the bottom of eighth with a 3-0 count against Yasiel Puig, Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop plunked the Reds outfielder with a 94 mph pitch. Puig was none too happy about the HBP, and began to slowly make his way towards the pitcher, which led to both benches clearing before any real punches were thrown.
Both benches were given a warning after the incident, but even as the players were separated, the two still exchanged words all the way until Puig finally got to first base.
Strop was asked about the incident and he told reporters that Puig simply overreacted to the hit, and he attributed that overreaction to a lack of mental capacity on the part of the Reds outfielder.
“He just reacted like that,” Strop said. “Maybe because it was a 3-0 pitch, maybe it looks weird. I wasn’t commanding my sinker, and I didn’t want to leave a cookie 3-0. He’ll swing 3-0 and hit it way out of the park. He just acted stupid.”
“I told him, ‘Why are you talking?’” Strop said. “‘You have a chance to do whatever you need to do on the mound. Now you’re just screaming.’
“It’s not a secret he’s stupid. He’s stupid as fuck. I have nothing against him, but he’s stupid. There’s no doubt about it.”
Puig had a pretty simple answer as to why he reacted the way that he did: he was just upset he got hit at all—which is fair enough. He said afterwards that it had nothing to do with any previous beef between himself and Strop because there was none. “We’ll play the game tomorrow and forget about what happened today,” he added.
As for that warning the umpires supposedly gave both benches after the initial incident, it wasn’t exactly enforced. In the bottom of the ninth, Cubs pitcher Dillon Maples ended up hitting Cincy’s Jose Peraza without any punishment. The only person who got in any trouble was Reds manager David Bell, who was ejected after getting upset over the Chicago player not getting tossed.
Just like Puig, Bell had a simple answer for his reaction:
“The bottom line is I don’t like it when our players get hit,” Bell said.