Ross: Bryant caught stealing call ‘extremely aggressive’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Kris Bryant was trying to put the Cubs in position to win.
With two outs in the ninth inning Thursday, the Cubs and Mets tied 3-3, Bryant attempted to steal second base. He got a good jump and beat the throw from New York catcher James McCann.
Bryant slid hard into the base, his left foot hitting it before Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil applied a tag on him.
But umpire John Libka called him out, ruling Bryant’s foot came off the bag, ending the inning.
Bryant’s left foot indeed came off the base momentarily, before he reestablished contact with his right foot. And McNeil wisely held the tag on him all the way, including the split-second Bryant was off the base.
That doesn’t mean the Cubs agreed with Libka’s call.
“He looked safe to me,” manager David Ross said. “I thought he got in there.”
Ross paused for six seconds, searching for his words.
“I thought that was an extremely aggressive call to say that he came up off the bag when things are moving that fast in real time,” Ross added.
The Cubs challenged the play and replay review upheld Libka’s out call, sending the game to extra innings.
Ross said Bryant looked safe to him even as he watched the replay from the Cubs’ dugout. He also acknowledged he doesn’t have all the angles available in MLB’s replay center in New York.
He's also unsure whether replay results always reflect the spirit of the rules.
"Whether he popped up for a millisecond or not," Ross said, "I think we’ve seen some of the things come in with replay that are probably not the reason why we brought in replay."
The moment didn't hurt the Cubs in the end. They went on to win 4-3 in the 10th on Jason Heyward's walk-off single.
"Whatever. We won the game," Ross said. "I’m happy."