Bryce Harper Ejected From Game After Heated Balls And Strikes Argument

Bryce Harper and Gabe Kapler argue with umpire Mark Carlson
Al Bello / Getty images

Bryce Harper, the Philadelphia Phillies’ $330 million man, on Monday night was ejected from a game for the first time in his Phillies tenure.

Harper was tossed from the team’s Monday night loss to the New York Mets at Citi Field in New York.

After striking out for the second time in the game in the fourth inning, per ESPN, Harper became heated. Then, four batters later, Harper was ejected from the game, apparently after umpires saw him complaining in the dugout after a subsequent called strike on teammate Cesar Hernandez. The ejection caused Harper to run on to the field in protest, and both manager Gabe Kapler and two other Phillies coaches had to restrain him. Kapler at one point appeared to shove Harper away from Carlson.

The Mets won the game 5-1, with a Rhys Hoskins solo home run providing the only scoring for Philadelphia. Pitcher Steven Matz got the win, rebounding from his previous start against the Phillies when, per The New York Times, he gave up eight runs without recording a single out. Philadelphia’s Jake Arietta took the loss.

The win means that the Mets and Phillies are tied for the NL East lead with identical 12-10 records.

Harper became the first Phillies player to be ejected from a game since pitcher Justin De Fratus in 2015. Kapler was not ejected from the game despite aggressive arguments with the umpires. In fact, he has never been ejected from a game since becoming Phillies manager at the start of the 2018 season.

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Fans of the Mets, who are used to rooting against Harper from the years he played for another NL East rival, the Washington Nationals, heckled Harper throughout the game, at least prior to his ejection.

Harper, following a high-profile four-month free agent pursuit, chose the Phillies as his new team at the end of February, signing what was then the largest free agent contract in baseball history, although Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels signed a $430 million deal a few weeks after Harper’s. Through 21 games with the Phillies, Harper is batting .279 with a .388 on-base percentage and .544 slugging percentage, as well as five home runs.

The Phillies got off to a hot start this season, but have cooled off as of late, having lost four of their last five games amid a run of injuries to such key players as shortstop Jean Segura, infielder Scott Kingery, and relief pitcher David Robertson.