David Ross ejection caps off tense night between Cubs and Reds after Joey Votto chirps at Rowan Wick

David Ross ejection caps off tense night between Cubs and Reds after Joey Votto chirps at Rowan Wick

There are noises coming from the basement of the NL Central.

Tensions escalated between the Cubs and Reds Wednesday night, as words were exchanged, a batter was hit, and Cubs manager David Ross was ejected.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who accounted for three of the Reds’ four runs by homering and tripling in the early innings, felt the first shot across the bow from Cubs reliever Rowan Wick. Wick threw a fastball high and inside on Votto before walking him on four pitches.

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On Votto’s way to first base after his traditional walk bat flip, Wick said something that looked suspiciously like either “nice walk motherf—–” or “washed motherf—–,” although it’s hard to say exactly what he said. Either way, Votto took issue and started yelling at the Cubs dugout.

In the top of the ninth inning, Reds reliever Hunter Strickland hit the Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom, who made a show of going to first. Eventually, Ross left the dugout and got himself ejected.

After the game, Wick had some hazy memories while Votto’s seemed sharp.

“All I said was ‘nice bat flip,'” Wick said after the game, per USA Today.

Votto had a different recollection of events.

“He had something to say and I answered,” Votto said in the clubhouse after the game. “That’s how ball is sometimes. You’re competitive, and clearly he was competing and locked in on performing well. And I’m pulling on the opposite end of the same rope. And if someone says something to me, sometimes I don’t answer. But I wasn’t in the mood to keep my mouth shut. And it’s part of the game.”

Votto added that Strickland hitting Wisdom wasn’t intentional.

“You don’t put the tying run at the plate with one out, that was absolutely unintentional,” he said. “We are trying to win a baseball game and our closer’s coming in, and he just misfires a ball. We don’t get paid for retribution. We get paid to complete games, to perform well.”

Ross, however, wasn’t so sure.

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“I think typically with what happened the inning before, with [Votto] walking towards Wick and him not doing a lot and [Strickland] hitting Wisdom, and two umpires wanting to discuss about whether they thought it was intentional or not — nobody doing that — I didn’t understand why, and so I wanted to know,” he said after the game. “…Two guys wanting to get together and them not getting together? That was the frustrating part for me.”

Wisdom was eventually driven in, but Strickland completed the save, giving the Reds a 4-3 win in the third of a four-game series. They’ll conclude Thursday.