The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs have always had a bitter rivalry, but things reached a boiling point during Thursday’s game between the two teams, resulting in an ejection for Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas.
Mikolas was ejected after an at-bat against Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, where Happ hit Cardinals catcher Wilson Contreras with his backswing. This would unfortunately cause Contreras to leave the game.
Ian Happ hit Willson Contreras in the back of the head on the backswing here.
Contreras left the game and two pitches later, Miles Mikolas hits Happ and is ejected from the game. pic.twitter.com/7yNJivbzRT
— Andy Martínez (@amartinez_11) July 27, 2023
Things only escalated from here, as Mikolas threw a pitch up and in near Happ’s head on the next pitch. He then actually hit Happ with the following pitch, which led to his ejection.
Miles Mikolas throwing at Ian Happ, and then being ejected, as seen and heard on Bally Sports Midwest (Cardinals).
"COME ON! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! HAVE A LITTLE FEEL FOR BASEBALL! HAVE A LITTLE FEEL FOR THE GAME! THAT'S AWFUL"- Brad Thompson https://t.co/y3cTZo1OiN pic.twitter.com/IUTU4ij8pV
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 28, 2023
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol immediately protested the ejection, and he also was sent back to the clubhouse early after an argument with the umpires.
It was certainly evident that Mikolas was intentionally throwing at Happ in retaliation for his catcher, and the MLB made the decision on Friday to issue him a suspension.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Mikolas has been issued a five-game suspension for the incident, and will appeal this decision. Oliver Marmol will also receive an automatic one-game suspension following his involvement after Mikolas’s ejection.
News: Miles Mikolas suspended for 5 games for throwing at Ian Happ last night. He is appealing. Oliver Marmol also gets an automatic 1 game suspension.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) July 28, 2023
It’s important to note that Mikolas is a starting pitcher, meaning that he will likely only miss one start in his five-game suspension.
Considering this, there were very mixed views on the suspension. Some were happy that there was a suspension at all, while others wished it was longer.
It should be 10 games if you really want to make a point.
One turn through the rotation and he could just pitch the game after. https://t.co/StRZOB82Er
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) July 28, 2023
This is the right decision
And even if you disagree with the ejection or suspension this is, by rule, the right decision because, by rule, MLB has the power to suspend a pitcher if they deem the HBP was intentional and/or unnecessary
And MLB deemed it as such,(which it was https://t.co/rIbl5WXIQl
— Marcus Newling (@MarcusNewling) July 28, 2023
Should miss his next 5 starts. https://t.co/oxM5Asb8Qi
— Cole Gross (@CGross23) July 28, 2023
Suspending a player 5 games who only plays once every 5th day has always been funny to me. That’ll show em! You get an extra days rest 😂 https://t.co/i4zAzOCK3L
— John Ashby (@jashby23) July 28, 2023
— Justin Fields Fan Club (@JustinFieldsFC) July 28, 2023
You threw at him twice, how are you possibly appealing this? lmfao
— Aidan (@a1dan54) July 28, 2023
It certainly seems pretty cut and dry that Mikolas intentionally threw at Happ, so the appeal could be an uphill battle for Mikolas. Hopefully the next few games of this four-game series are far less drama filled.