(Busch Stadium) Nearly twenty fours hour after the event, Tommy Pham was still smarting from the fastball which drilled him in the ribs during the 6th inning of last night’s game.
“It was definitely on purpose,” stated Pham. “Success is the greatest revenge, so kill them with success. Go out there and try to help the team win.”
Pham and Cubs pitcher Felix Pena exchanged stares as the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder made his way to first base, but no words were exchanged.
“It is what it is,” said Pham, who admits he had to think twice about charging the mound. “I don’t make enough money right now to go out there and face a suspension. I’m not going to go out and fight. That’s too much money for me to throw away right now.”
Four players were hit during the game, but the others seemed to more of accidental in nature. For Pham, there was no question of the intent on Pena’s part.
“We have video,” he pointed out. “Video you see everything. You see the sign that they put down, you see the signals that they put out to show what they wanted to do.”
Earlier in the game, Pham had hit his 23rd home run of the season. He had also voiced his displeasure at some of the Cubs sharing they were looking forward to clinching the NL Central at Busch Stadium. Would that have been cause to be hit?
“I don’t know–maybe because we hit Bryant but Bryant was intentional–I don’t know,” said Pham. “They hit a lot of home runs off of us that are just wall-scrapers that barely go out at Wrigley that they pimp. You hit a ball that far you should–I didn’t pimp it like I thought I did. I don’t know–who cares.”
Manager Mike Matheny was caught off-guard by the topic in his pregame media session.
“As I watched it–I don’t know the history there, he does,” said Matheny. “There may be something that I wasn’t aware of. Typically, we know when there’s some sort of bad blood with either our club or with individuals. But you try to watch the game close and see if there’s something that’s leading in that direction. But we’re always going to defend our guys.
“A situation like that, there’s no question–we’re in the middle of a close, big game. Yeah, you have to take the base and kind of leave things like that alone for a while. Just make sure you’re focused on what you have to do for the club.”
After taking first, Pham was picked off by Pena. A slow-motion review of the play lends to the argument that Pena had already broken towards home.
“It looked like he balked,” agreed Pham. “When I saw it on video, it looked like he balked but it’s hard for the umpires to catch it nowadays for some reason. It’s happened a lot to me this year–the same move, the balk. It hasn’t been called though.”
Pham did not believe any frustration or emotion of being hit by the pitch factored into the pickoff.
“I was looking to steal and he balked,” said Tommy. “The move I saw–I saw him going home and he turned so, like I said, it’s a tough move to call because it happens so fast.”
Later in the game, Pham was replaced by a pinch-hitter after being diagnosed with a left side contusion and was listed as day-to-day.
“It was just whether it loosened up,” explained Pham, who is back in the lineup tonight. “The doc said the impact caused it to spasm up and it was too tight for me to turn. It kind of felt like when I tore my oblique almost, how it was grabbing.”
The area loosened up enough that Pham is ready to play tonight.
photo credit: Jeff Curry, Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
— Brian Stull (@StullySTL) September 27, 2017