Reds pitcher accuses Cubs of excessive chirping

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tejay Antone throws in the first inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs in Cincinnati, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020.

    Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tejay Antone throws in the first inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs in Cincinnati, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP

 
 
Updated 8/30/2020 6:07 PM

The pitcher who threw over Anthony Rizzo's head on Saturday said he's heard plenty of chatter from the Cubs dugout this season. Of course, every player can hear more with no fans in the stands.

"The second inning, they were chirping at me for grunting on a few fastballs," said Tejay Antone, who started Game 2 for the Reeds. "So after the inning, I gave them another grunt. Just part of the game. You chirp back and forth. It was all fun and games, especially now that we can hear everyone very clear.

 

"They were chirping at me, giving me some grunts, kind of giving me some girlie grunts. So I gave them a grunt back and let them know I'm here to strike people out."

Asked if the Cubs are more vocal than other teams, Antone didn't hesitate.

"100 percent, the Cubs, they chirp the most for sure," he said. "I noticed when they're down they usually get quieter."

Antone's high pitch set off a series of events that resulted in five ejections, including both managers. After the game, Cubs manager David Ross said he thought Antone was purposely throwing at Rizzo, who had 2 home runs and a double on the day.

"It stinks hearing from David Ross that he thinks it was intentional," Antone said. "I understand. It was very hard and it was over his head.

"I understand it was a scary situation. I was throwing very hard tonight. I know I saw a couple of 97s and 98s. That's why I made sure I let Rizzo know, 'that was not intentional, brother.'"

Rizzo said he felt the ball might have slipped out of Antone's hand a bit, but described the 97-miles-per-hour pitch coming at his head as a "life flashes before your eyes" moment.

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