Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper earned his first ejection as a Major-leaguer Wednesday night as Washington beat the Miamia Marlins 8-4.
Harper, 19, was tossed from the contest by first-base umpire CB Bucknor after he grounded into a double play in the top of the nine inning and slammed his helmet in frustration.
“I thought there was one out, and I tossed my helmet down,” Harper told reporters later. “I shouldn’t have done it, but I don’t like hitting into double plays. … I don’t know. I just need to stop getting [ticked] off and just live with it, and there’s nothing you can change. I just need to grow up in that mentality a little bit. Try not to bash stuff in and things like that I’ve always done my whole life, and those need to change.”
After his ejection, Harper, who had already hit two home runs on the night, tried to plead his case with Bucknor, who wasn’t interested, and first base coach Trent Jewett as well as manager Davey Johnson came out to stand up for their player, too.
The trio’s efforts were uneventful, however, and Harper earned his first career ejection to go along with his first multi-home run game.
“Bryce couldn’t control his emotions again,” Johnson said in the post-game press conference. “I had a little chat with him. He’ll get over it. He’s just a 100-percenter. And he expects great things out of himself. He breaks bats, throws his helmet. He’s just got to stop it. Can’t afford to be losing him in a ballgame with that. He’ll learn. He’s young.
As the Sporting News wisely points out, the source of much of Harper’s frustration might be his lackluster performance during the second half of the season.
In 43 games since the All-Star break, Harper is batting .201 with six homers and 15 RBIs. He also has struck out 42 times. For the season, Harper is hitting .250 with 14 homeruns and 40 RBIs.
Watch as Bryce Harper experiences both his first two-homer game and major league ejection in the video below: