Cubs beat Cardinals, Ross talks about baseball's 'unwritten rules'
David Ross considers himself an old-school kind of guy. But even he has trouble keeping all of baseball's "unwritten rules" straight.
Those unspoken rules became a hot topic when San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. swung at a 3-0 pitch and hit a grand slam while the Padres held a 10-3 lead over Texas in the eighth inning late Monday night.
"On 3-0, I want my best player swinging as often as possible, to be honest with you," Ross said. "There's a lot of things we could talk about with what you should and shouldn't do. I've seen teams getting drummed and teams still shifting (defensively) on players. Is it bad to take away half the field? Is it quote-unquote bush league to bunt in that situation to get on?
"There's a lot of thoughts on these things. So I think you've just got to kind of take it as how you feel. With a 7-run lead, I'm probably not even looking at my coach and telling the guys to take or not. I'm just letting the game play out at that point. You've got a lead, you're safe. If a guy wants to swing, I don't have any problem with it. Especially when they're one of the best players in the game."
Ross shared his thoughts before Tuesday's win over St. Louis at Wrigley Field, the lone single game sandwiched between a pair of doubleheaders.
The Cubs beat the Cardinals 6-3.
There was some fallout from Tatis' late-game slam. Relief pitcher Ian Gibault threw the next pitch behind Manny Machado and was suspended three games. Rangers manager Chris Woodward was suspended one game and skipped Tuesday's rematch.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after the game Tatis was given the take sign by the third base coach, but missed it.
"I come from the old school, but definitely don't agree with all the quote-unquote old school unwritten rules, I guess," Ross said. "I can't worry about what other team think about how we should play or what we should do. Things have a way of policing themselves on the field."
The unwritten-rule police weren't needed Tuesday, although the game was extremely slow-moving.
The Cubs got another good effort from starting pitcher Yu Darvish. He allowed 1 run and 8 hits over 6 innings, while striking out seven.
Darvish's best moment came in the fourth inning when the Cardinals loaded the bases with nobody out. Darvish escaped with no damage, getting a ground ball to the pitcher for a force at the plate, strikeout and line out.
The Cubs took the lead on Ian Happ's fifth home run of the season. After Darvish's escape act, the made it 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Jason Heyward tripled home Willson Contreras.
Darvish gave up his lone run in the fifth when Paul Goldschmidt's RBI single brought St. Louis within 2-1. But the Cubs got some breathing room in the bottom of the inning as Javy Baez started with a double and Kyle Schwarber followed with a 2-run homer deep into the right-field bleachers, his fourth of the year.