This game had all the makings of something that could be good.
Jimmy Rollins was making his debut in the booth as a guest analyst, the opposing pitcher was Steven Matz, the pitcher that allowed 8 runs last week without registering an out and the Phillies were out of Coors Field. It was a recipe for success!
Until it wasn’t.
The Phillies wasted a strong start from Jake Arrieta by again suffering from a lack of offensive production. Save for Rhys Hoskins’ home run in the fourth inning, the bats once again went lifeless, something that would be concerning if not for the excuse of all the injuries happening. What was a close, 2-1 game entering the bottom of the seventh was blown open by Jose Alvarez and Juan Nicasio forgetting how to throw strikes and/or the ball away from batters. Walks, errors and hit batsmen turned the close game into one that left little doubt what the final outcome would be.
Of course, this comedy of errors produce one of the night’s more entertaining moments. (Gonna go ahead and give this the ol’ NSFW warning)
This, though, leads us to the night’s most entertaining bit: the ejection of Bryce Harper.
There were some on-field fireworks at Citi Field as both Gabe Kapler and Bryce Harper argue with home plate umpire Mark Carlson.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 23, 2019
Bryce Harper has been ejected from the game. pic.twitter.com/KyM0M8GsMB
Now, had you see the pitch that caused all of this, you’d probably understand why Harper was tossed. He had been the victim of some questionable strike calls in his own at bats, but when teammate Cesar Hernandez was given an unwarranted strike, Harper would stand for it no more. It really was a sight to behold.
Bryce Harper has indeed been ejected. He is believed to be first Phillies player ejected from a game since ... June 16, 2015 (Justin DeFratus).— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 23, 2019
What’s doubly impressive is that Gabe Kapler was not ejected from the game. Usually coming out to argue balls and strikes is automatic, but for some reason, Kapler remained. Probably because the umpire knew he screwed up and didn’t want to be more embarrassed than he probably already was. Oh well, some day...
We were so close to seeing that elusive Gabe Kapler ejection. I still have faith it will happen someday.— Liz Roscher (@lizroscher) April 23, 2019
Yes, this game was pretty boring to watch. Something is causing these Phillies to slump. Be it injuries, bad pitch recognition, whatever it is, this team just ain’t going good right now. When you have to depend on Aaron Altherr and Phil Gosselin to do damage on a consistent basis in the lineup, you wish for guys like Jean Segura and Odubel Herrera to hurry back.