Phillies starter A.J. Burnett wasn’t having a very good night when home plate umpire Chris Guccione got him hot under his collar. Burnett just surrendered a three-run home run to Anthony Rendon in the bottom of the second with two outs, putting the Nationals up 5-0. Burnett’s next pitch, starting an at-bat against Jayson Werth, was a 93 MPH outside fastball, called a ball.
Burnett said something to Guccione — ostensibly about a previous pitch, as the pitch to Werth was clearly a ball — so Guccione ran towards the mound from his position behind the plate and ejected Burnett right in front of his face. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, of course, was livid and he, too, was ejected. Burnett and Sandberg continued stating their case to a crowd of umpires before exiting the field, Sandberg handing his lineup card to bench coach Larry Bowa.
The game didn’t get any better for the Phillies. As of this writing, it’s 11-0 after four innings.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.