Bryce Harper’s first game in New York with the Philadelphia Phillies came to an early end on Monday when he was ejected for arguing with the umpire.
Bryce Harper has experienced a season of firsts with the Philadelphia Phillies this year. His first hit. His first home run. And, on Monday, his first ejection.
Harper, in the top of the fourth inning in the Phillies game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Monday night, struck out looking on a Steven Matz sinker. He clearly wasn’t pleased with the call, and four batters later he was still giving home plate umpire Mark Carlson an earful.
When Carlson called a high strike against Phillies’ second baseman Cesar Hernandez, Harper had enough. He and manager Gabe Kapler stormed out of the dugout and got in Carlson’s face. Harper had to be restrained and at one point even pushed Kapler aside so he could go face-to-face with the umpire.
Harper was ejected, the first Phillies player to be tossed from a game since Justin DeFratus in June 2015. Thus his first appearance in New York in a Phillies uniform came to an ignoble end after just four innings.
Harper has always been one to openly flaunt his emotions on the baseball field, and had been ejected 11 times in his career while he was with the Washington Nationals. But last season he admitted that he was working on bringing those emotions under control so he’s able to stay in games.
“That’s my biggest thing … I don’t wanna get tossed,” he told MLB.com last September. “I think I go to the edge and kind of quiet up. Because there’s no reason to. At the end of the day, if I’m 0-4 or 4-4, it’s just part of the game.”
Harper was replaced in the Phillies lineup by center fielder Roman Quinn, with Aaron Altherr moving from center to Harper’s right field spot. He finished the game 0-2 with two strikeouts to drop his batting average for the season to .272. In his first season with the Phillies after signing a 13-year, $330 million free agent deal in March, Harper has five home runs and 14 RBI in 21 games entering play on Monday. The Phillies lead the NL East with a 12-9 record, a game ahead of the Mets and Atlanta Braves.