Cubs-Pirates Ends in Controversial Fashion With Close Play at Home Plate

Did the umpire make the right call?
Marquee Sports Network

A pitcher's duel between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on Saturday was settled in controversial fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning.

With the score tied 0–0, Cubs third baseman Christopher Morel swatted a David Bednar splitter into center field for a base hit, sending Cody Bellinger racing home from second base as the potential game-winning run.

Michael A. Taylor's throw from center field beat Bellinger to the bag, and Pirates catcher Joey Bart lunged to tag the baserunner before his foot crossed home plate.

Bart appeared to lay the tag on Bellinger, but the ball was popped loose and fell to the ground after he transferred it from his glove to his hand. Bellinger was ruled safe, sending Wrigley Field into a frenzy worthy of a walk-off.

The Pirates challenged the call on the field, but it was upheld after review.

MLB fans appeared pretty split on whether or not the correct call was made on the field. Did Bart tag Bellinger in time? And if he did, did he hold onto the ball long enough?

The Pirates, who took the first two games of the series, will get a chance at revenge Sunday in the finale at Wrigley Field.

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.