Rowdy fan doesn't rattle Howry
Reliever brushes off ninth-inning incident on the field
CHICAGO -- The fan who ran onto the field in the ninth inning at Wrigley Field on Monday night was probably lucky he was tackled by security guards before he got to Cubs reliever Bob Howry.
"I honestly would've felt sorry for him if he got to Bobby," Cubs reliever Scott Eyre said.
The Cubs had an 8-3 lead going into the ninth against the Colorado Rockies, but Eyre couldn't retire the first three hitters he faced, and in came Howry. He gave up back to back RBI singles, and then served up a three-run homer to Troy Tulowitzki, which gave the Rockies a 9-8 lead.
A fan then jumped onto the field near the visitor's on-deck circle, and ran to the mound. Howry had his back turned but when he faced the man, a security guard who was stationed near the Cubs dugout had already caught up to the fan and knocked him down to the ground.
"I didn't even notice him until, as soon as I turned around, the [guard] clothes-lined him and took him down," Howry said.
Did it rattle him?
"That guy coming out? No -- he wasn't very big," Howry said.
Howry is 6-foot-5, 220-pounds, by the way. The fan appeared to have enough time to ask Howry a question.
"He said, 'What are you doing?'" Howry said. "I'm out here trying to give up home runs -- what do you think? He didn't deserve a response."
Howry didn't actually respond. Two security guards escorted the fan off the field, and play resumed. Howry apparently settled down, retiring the next three batters. The Cubs rallied in the bottom of the ninth and won the game on Alfonso Soriano's two-run single with two outs.
"With a five-run lead going into the ninth, you don't think the game is even going to be close," Howry said. "I gave up the lead, but the guys did a great job battling and came back, and that's the way things have been going lately. Guys have been picking each other up."
That fan may have needed some assistance if he did get to Howry.
"Thank God, he didn't get to Bobby -- I don't know what Bobby would've done to him," said Cubs catcher Koyie Hill. "He's a giant. Bobby scares me."
Hill saw the fan headed toward the mound.
"We were trying to get to the [dugout] steps, but the guard did a great job," Hill said. "It's one of the best saves I've ever seen in my life."
Cubs manager Lou Piniella was impressed that Howry kept his composure after the incident.
"I forgot who did the tackling over there," Piniella said, "but I can tell you this, [Bears coach] Lovie Smith is looking for him. [The fan] went down in a hurry.
"I don't think he was really too threatening," Piniella said. "It is scary. You just don't know."
It's not the smartest thing in the world to do either.
"That's just stupid," Eyre said. "It's one thing to be a fan -- they cheered me when I got out of that inning [in the seventh]. To charge the mound, to run the field, that's just stupid. The guy's going to go to jail now. What's the point? Because he had too many beers. That's just stupid."
Howry wasn't bothered at all by the intrusion.
"I didn't have to worry about it," Howry said. "By the time I turned around, [the guards] were laying him out."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.