In the middle of the fifth inning of Saturday’s Phillies-Mets game (PHI-NYM GameTracker), Philly slugger Bryce Harper managed to get himself ejected by first-base umpire Roberto Ortiz while assuming his spot in right field. Here’s a look at the relevant color television footage:
Harper was peeved over a fair-foul call in the top half of the inning. Harper had ripped a Seth Lugo curveball down the first-base line, but Ortiz called it foul. Harper wound up grounding out to end the frame. So when the Phillies took the field for the bottom of the fifth, Harper let Ortiz hear about it — to excess, according to Ortiz.
Very likely, Harper has some holdover frustration because of a mistake he made in the field during the fourth inning. Andres Gimenez popped up to shallow right, but Harper failed to take charge on the play even though he had the easiest path to the ball. As such, second baseman Neil Walker had to make a back-pedaling play on the ball, which allowed Todd Frazier to tag up and score from third. Here’s a look:
Coincidentally, it was Walker who attempted to restrain Harper an inning later.
Harper has been wildly productive in this, his second season with the Phillies (he’s batting .271/.429/.523 on the year), but Saturday night was not vintage Harper.
On second thought, it was vintage Harper in this sense:
Bryce Harper is good at playing baseball and also good at being told to stop playing baseball.