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Eject, eject: Marlins 5, Phillies 3

The release of some pent-up emotions wasn’t enough.

Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Gabe Kapler got his first ejection as the Phillies manager on Saturday, doing a lot of deep-throated shouting and aggressive finger-pointing.

I’ve seen a couple of “ what ‘s Charlie Manuel up to right now?” out there, and all I can think is how there was nothing that endeared Charlie Manuel to people like giving an umpire a face full of s***. This was Kapler’s first attempt, and I buy the anger and frustration. It has to be there, and not just over an umpire deciding that Scott Kingery, who was hit by a pitch, actually swung and was out.

But there was unquestionably some theater to this, as it comes so quickly after criticisms that Kapler is failing to hold his team accountable, at least to the public eye. Fans needed something to latch onto, to feel like the team was as mad as they are, and if Kapler had been ejected (he was), and the Phillies had actually won (they did not), then hey, maybe it would have worked. Maybe the fans directly cheering on Gabe Kapler—something I’m not sure has ever happened after he was literally booed in his first game here—could have been the moment that this team and this city finally gelled.

Bryce Harper had a couple of hits, including a home run. He went back-to-back with Rhys Hoskins in the third in yet another moment that could have been the one that turned the tide but then wasn’t. Vince Velasquez was uncharacteristically efficient early on, finishing the first inning on seven pitches and lasting five innings, giving up only a solo shot to J.T. Riddle. The series of bullpen arms that threw at the Marlins were generally effective against the last-place Marlins, but the newly reappointed Adam Morgan got hit with most of the trouble, including Wilkin Castillo’s “first hit, RBI in 3,654 days.”

And while all fun moments on a Saturday afternoon, it was, once more, not enough, and the Phillies lost two of three to the lowly Miami Marlins. The series finale is this afternoon, when once again the Phillies will try to win a ball game. Kapler probably won’t get ejected this time, but it is nice that the option is technically there for any of the Phillies; if things get too rough, vent some frustrations on the nearest umpire and get out of there. There’s just no guarantee it’ll impact the outcome.