Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said he was "surprised" by the incident with Pirates slugger Dan Vogelbach that led to both teams' benches clearing Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
"It kind of surprised me, to be honest," Contreras said after the Cubs' 7-0 win.
Vogelbach tried to score on a fly ball to Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki. Suzuki, who has a good arm, threw out Vogelbach by a few feet.
Vogelbach slid in a bit awkwardly, making for a minor collision with Contreras. He flipped Contreras' mask away, to which the Cubs catcher appeared to take exception. The two exchanged words and both benches and bullpen cleared.
That the skirmish involved Vogelbach and Contreras was a bit odd — and seemingly part of Contreras' surprise. They were teammates in the Cubs farm system from 2012-16.
"I was just basically checking on him and he overreacted," Contreras said. "It kind of surprised me a lot, but it is what it is.
"The only thing that I said was, 'Don't do that to me. We played together.' At the end of the day it doesn't matter. We won the ballgame and they got shutout."
The Cubs traded Vogelbach to the Mariners in 2016 for Mike Montgomery, and Contreras was promoted to the big leagues that same summer.