Phillies centerfielder Roman Quinn was ejected in the third inning Monday night for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Junior Valentine.
Manager Joe Girardi came out to argue on Quinn’s behalf after the ejection and he was promptly tossed. It was the second ejection of the season for Girardi.
Quinn was called out looking with nobody out, Scott Kingery at first base and the Phillies trailing 2-0. He bunted foul twice in the at-bat, ran the count full, then struck out looking on a pitch that was a strike. He jawed with Valentine, was warned, then looked back and said something else and was tossed.
It proved costly because the Phillies, thin on outfielders Monday with Bryce Harper (lower back discomfort) the DH, had to go to an outfield alignment of Jay Bruce in right field, Adam Haseley in center and rookie Mickey Moniak in left.
Moniak made a wildly errant throw that led to a Nationals run in the 5-1 Phillies loss. Haseley has had a rough two weeks in the outfield, misplaying a couple of catchable balls. Bruce is a DH at this point.
“What upsets me is why you eject someone walking away,” Girardi said after the game. “That really bothers me and (umpires) have to understand and be more patient. ‘We gave him a chance.’ Well, give him another chance and walk away.
“It’s frustrating to me. I didn’t hear everything Roman said so I can’t talk to that but I didn’t hear anything when I got out there and kind of pushed him away.
“It is what it is. Players need to stay in games and so do I. Sometimes players need to stay in games more than coaches and managers. We need them in the game and let us fight your fight sometimes.”
Frustration is understandable, and Valentine did have a shaky first three innings. But the pitch was a strike, and the Phillies are so thin on outfielders right now that it just can’t happen for Quinn at such a crucial time.
The pitch in question is the one on the lower-outside corner in the chart below.
The Phillies are playing without catcher J.T. Realmuto (hip/quad) and first baseman Rhys Hoskins (elbow). Backup outfielder Kyle Garlick is on the IL with an oblique strain. Harper isn’t 100 percent.
Where was Andrew McCutchen?
Out of the lineup because he’s 5 for 28 with 13 strikeouts against Anibal Sanchez, Monday’s starter. The Phillies also have a doubleheader Tuesday with McCutchen expected to play both games. They are still being cautious with him. He has had good days and bad days with mobility in his first year back from an ACL tear.
Quinn has helped the Phillies win games this season with his speed and defense but he has struggled badly at the plate lately. He is 3 for 34 since August 31 with no extra-base hits, two walks and 17 strikeouts.
He is a career .237 hitter with an on-base percentage just over .300.