Bryce Harper bolted from the bench to angrily confront the plate umpire after being ejected, and it took three members of the Philadelphia Phillies to hold back the enraged slugger Monday night in a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets.
Steven Matz atoned for a dismal start last week in Philadelphia by pitching six fine innings while Jeff McNeil homered off Jake Arrieta. The Phillies have lost four of five.
The game that started 1 1/2 hours late because of rain. The wet weather certainly didn’t dampen emotions as Harper became the first Phillies player ejected since pitcher Justin De Fratus in 2015.
Harper struck out swinging his first time up, then was called out on strikes by Mark Carlson to begin the fourth. By then, from his muttering, it was clear Harper was miffed by a couple of pitches he thought were too high.
Soon, the fans at Citi Field who had been heckling Harper saw just how mad he really was.
Four batters later, Harper was in the dugout when he was tossed. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler quickly came out to argue, then Harper followed in a much bigger hurry.
Harper yelled and pointed at Carlson over and over from close range, with Kapler repeatedly pushing away his star player from the ump.
Bench coach Rob Thomson soon wrapped up Harper and third base coach Dusty Wathan blocked his path to the plate. Kapler continued the argument as Harper made his way back to the bench and clubhouse.
Matz (2-1) allowed one run and three hits, and beat the Phillies for the first time in seven career starts.
Last Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park, Matz endured a truly awful outing — he faced eight batters, and all eight scored in the first inning.
Arrieta (3-2), who pitched into the ninth to beat the Mets last week, got chased in the seventh.
Pete Alonso hit an RBI double in a two-run third and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh.
McNeil hit a solo home run in the fifth.
Rhys Hoskins homered for the Phillies.
Phillies: Sent LHP Austin Davis to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and promoted RHP Edubray Ramos.
Mets: 3B Todd Frazier went 1 for 4 and stole a base in his season debut for the Mets. He’d been on the injured list with a strained left oblique. INF Luis Guillorme was called up from Triple-A and started at shortstop. LHP Justin Wilson was put on the IL with elbow soreness and RHP Paul Sewald was sent to Triple-A Syracuse.
Phillies: RHP Victor Arano (elbow inflammation) will be checked by doctors in Philadelphia early this week.
Mets: 2B Robinson Cano didn’t start a day after being hit in the right hand by a pitch. SS Amed Rosario was out with flu-like symptoms.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (2-2, 3.68 ERA) has lost his last two starts, giving up 17 hits in 10 innings.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 6.35) went seven innings in a loss at Philadelphia last Wednesday.