Batta Bing: Cubs' Maddon calls out Cards

Cubs manager expresses displeasure in light of Haren's accidental plunking of Holliday

Batta Bing: Cubs' Maddon calls out Cards

CHICAGO -- After Dan Haren hit the Cardinals' Matt Holliday in the helmet with a pitch in the fifth inning of Friday's 8-3 win, he immediately apologized to his Cubs teammate Anthony Rizzo. Haren felt the Cardinals would retaliate, and that Rizzo would be targeted. He was right, and the incident upset Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

Home-plate umpire Dan Bellino had warned both teams after Holliday was hit, but St. Louis' Matt Belisle plunked Rizzo with a pitch in the seventh inning, and he was ejected along with Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.

"I'm really disappointed in what the Cardinals did right there," Maddon said. "Absolutely. We did not hit their guy on purpose at all. That was an absolute mistake. There was no malicious intent whatsoever on Dan Haren's part. None. So to become this vigilante group that wants to get their own pound and flesh, that's absolutely insane and ridiculous and wrong.

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"Furthermore, we don't start stuff but we will stop stuff; we will end stuff. That's their call. That was their moment right there."

The Cardinals were Maddon's favorite team as a kid growing up. Not on Friday.

"Right now, that really showed me a lot today in a negative way," Maddon said. "I don't know who put out the hit. I don't know if Tony Soprano was in the dugout, but I didn't see him in there. But we're not going to put up with that."

Maddon didn't stop there. He was upset at how the Cardinals were set up defensively in the eighth. The Cubs had an 8-3 lead and runners at first and second, and the Cardinals were playing behind the runners.

"The next time they do it, we're going to run," Maddon said. "I want everybody to know that. I never read that particular book that the Cardinals wrote way back in the day. I was a big Branch Rickey fan, but I never read this book that the Cardinals had written regarding how to play baseball."

This was Belisle's second appearance since he went on the disabled list in June, and he said he had problems with his command in his last outing, and also on Friday.

"I have to pitch inside [to Rizzo]," Belisle said. "I think I yanked that ball in Cincinnati too [in his last outing], against a lefty, and it's something that I have to make sure I can throw strikes in there. I was mostly away, and I have to pitch in. It's part of my game and part of being successful up here."

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Maddon didn't accept that Belisle might have had trouble with his command.

"That is ridiculous," Maddon said. "I don't want to hear that. I don't want to hear about pitching inside. I don't want to hear any of that. The pitch that Danny hit [Holliday] with was absolutely a mistake. ... It was awful. We hated it. We all hated it in the dugout. I'm happy that he's fine, absolutely. But you don't [retaliate] under those circumstances. We don't start stuff, but we will finish stuff."

Haren came up in the Cardinals' system, pitching there in 2003-04, and he said they do "police things like that."

"There was just always the thing of protecting the big guys," Haren said. "When I was there, it was [Albert] Pujols, [Scott] Rolen, guys like that. I think a lot of times it's used as a tactic to maybe try to not get teams to pitch inside."

Haren gave Rizzo the warning after Holliday was hit.

"I told Rizzo, 'If you get it, I'm sorry,'" Haren said. "[The pitch that hit Holliday] wasn't on purpose. They threw at [Rizzo]. They might take it to the extreme a little bit with that stuff. I think everyone understands it. I guess at least they didn't throw at [Rizzo's] head."

Rizzo has now been hit a Major League-leading 29 times. These two teams have two more games against each other. Is the incident forgotten?

"I think that's up to them," Haren said. "I certainly don't think that anybody on our side is going to come out and throw at somebody, that's for sure. Since I've been here, there has never been any type of order to hit anybody or anything like that. And Rizzo leads the league in hit by pitches by a lot."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.