Javier Baez with the controversial hug.

The Colorado Rockies-Chicago Cubs NL wild-card game Tuesday gave us plenty of strange moments, including a catcher’s interference call in the bottom of the seventh and a pinch runner (for Anthony Rizzo, no less) stealing a base to set up the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. But a play on the basepaths in the bottom of the 11th inning may have been the strangest yet. With runners on first and second and one out, after a long delay to determine if batter Willson Contreras could continue after an injury, Contreras hit a ground ball to Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado. Javier Baez was running to third, and Arenado went and tagged him, and the two wound up in a hug:

And that proved quite controversial, with Rockies’ manager Bud Black in particular arguing that Baez should have been called for interference with a potential double play. And he got some support from ESPN analyst Alex Rodriguez.

Many found that pretty funny coming from Rodriguez:


On the ESPN2 Statcast, cooler heads prevailed, with Jason Benetti, Mike Petriello, and Eduardo Perez pointing out that Arenado didn’t make an effort to make a throw, and that he actually grabbed Baez as well instead:

And this led to some other funny jokes:


At any rate, this was certainly unusual. And it provided even more ammunition for many to complain about A-Rod.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.