Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Tepera received a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine on Thursday for intentionally throwing at Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff during a game on Tuesday, MLB announced.
Cubs manager David Ross has also received a one-game suspension and fine for the pitch.
Tepera has elected to appeal the discipline rather than start serving the suspension on Friday, but it seems likely he'll have trouble convincing whomever hears his appeal. Assuming that person watched a certain interview after Tuesday's game.
Here's the pitch that led to punishment for Tepera and Ross:
Tepera throws behind Brandon Woodruff pic.twitter.com/TBs9w1ZLyE
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) April 14, 2021
There's some history behind that pitch, as the man catching it has experienced a shocking amount of hit-by-pitches from the Brewers recently.
Why Willson Conteras and the Cubs were mad at the Brewers
Catcher Willson Contreras was hit by Woodruff earlier in the game, and on six other occasions over the last calendar year. In one case, a HBP nearly led to a brawl. However, some have pointed out that Conteras clearly seemed to go out of his way to get hit during a game in the previous series.
The Cubs have even posted a supercut of the HBPs.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 14, 2021
Contreras got some measure of revenge the same game as that pitch thrown behind Woodruff, hitting a game-winning home run off Brent Suter. However, the question is if the ball seemingly aimed at Woodruff in the same game was also revenge.
Typically, an intentional HBP is pretty hard to punish because pitchers can just say the ball got away from them. They tend to lose the benefit if it happens on multiple occasions (cough, Joe Kelly), but Tepera appears to have no such history.
Contreras, however, appeared to remove all doubt during a postgame interview:
“That probably was a mistake by us. Trying to hit the pitcher. I don’t think he’s the right guy to do it…
I think if you wanna hit somebody, it will have to be a position player.”#Brewers + #Cubs = Rivalry #FTCpic.twitter.com/UowSjI89gG
— BREW MATHs (@BREW_MATHs) April 14, 2021
Best of luck to Tepera explaining that away in his appeal.
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