In 2018 the Milwaukee Brewers had veteran catcher Erik Kratz on their team. He played in 67 games for the Brew Crew and was a fan favorite throughout their magical run for the National League Central division title and deep playoff appearance. On a recent episode of Foul Territory he recalled a story against the St. Louis Cardinals in which he was trying to stand up for Christian Yelich but nearly got himself fined by the league while also being in deep trouble with his manager Craig Counsell.
To set the table for the story that Erik Kratz shared you have to know some backstory. At this time in the 2018 season, MVP in the making Christian Yelich had been hit by quite a few pitches from St. Louis Cardinals pitchers. This extended multiple series and Kratz was trying to defend Yelich after he again got plunked with another pitch.
This story was prompted by Erik Kratz being asked if he ever called for a pitcher to intentionally hit a batter. His response revolved around the Milwaukee Brewers and Christian Yelich.
Hey @ErikKratz31, ever call for a pitcher to intentionally hit a batter? #ftlive
"If you do not hit [Yadier Molina], I'm going to come out to the mound and absolutely light you up. In the game." 😳 pic.twitter.com/U3WYDZNDpY
— Foul Territory (@FoulTerritoryTV) March 28, 2023
During the story, Erik Kratz describes an instance where he picked up the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen phone and said, “If you do not hit Yadier Molina, I’m going to come out to the mound and absolutely light you up. In the game.”
Later, with two outs, Molina comes up to bat and he gets pitched inside twice, but not hit. After the game, Erik Kratz describes how mad and livid he is. At that point he is summoned to Craig Counsell’s office in which his manager is also enraged, but it was not for the reason that Kratz was expecting.
In an uproar, Counsell says to Kratz, “What were you thinking! You don’t know that the phones from the dugout to the bullpen are recorded.”
Erik Kratz claims he was not fined by the league, but this is quite a story!
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