Daniel Vogelbach had to exert the maximum amount of energy required from a batter, in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Cubs. It makes sense that he was grouchy by the end of it.
To start, the Pirates DH smacked the first triple of his career. Vogelbach really had to hustle, but he got to third standing up. Strong!
The following Pirates hitter, Yoshi Tsutsugo, had a chance to bring Vogelbach home with a sacrifice fly. While Tsutsugo did hit a fly ball to right field, there were a couple of factors to consider here: Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki has a decent arm, it wasn’t a particularly deep fly ball, and Vogelbach had just done a triple’s worth of running for the first time in his major-league career. Nonetheless, Pirates third base coach Mike Rabelo gave Vogie the green light. It wasn’t even close. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras applied the tag with ease as Vogelbach did a limp sideways slide well short of home plate.
This looks less like a play at the plate and more like someone administering medical aid:
Vogelbach wasn’t able to score on his first-ever triple, his slide sucked, and the Chicago crowd cheered his failure. That would understandably make anyone fume a little bit. While Contreras was checking to make sure he was OK, Vogelbach smacked the catcher’s mask, already on the ground, further away from the plate. The two were teammates in the Cubs’ minor-league system, so this interaction was weird. Then it got weirder when they stood up and loudly talked face to face.
Both benches cleared, but nobody actually fought. Vogelbach went back to his dugout gassed, defeated, and grumpy. He’ll find redemption when he hits his second career triple.