Things were testy between outfielder Bryce Harper and home plate umpire Brian Knight during Monday’s game between the Nationals and Tigers. Harper had apparently been chirping at Knight since the fourth inning, when he was called out on strikes.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, with the score tied at four apiece, Danny Espinosa struck out looking against Tigers reliever Mark Lowe for the first out of the frame. Harper must have been shouting from the dugout because Knight turned around and instantly ejected him. MLB Gameday says it was Espinosa who was ejected, but Espinosa didn’t react when Knight gave the hook and Harper got angrier.
As fate would have it, Clint Robinson promptly ended the game by hitting a walk-off solo home run to right field. It barely cleared the wall, so the umpires reviewed the play to make sure a fan didn’t interfere. The initial ruling was confirmed and the Nats won 5-4. As the Nationals rushed onto the field to celebrate, Harper could be clearly seen screaming “F— you!” at Knight.
Here’s a video, courtesy Joe Mullinax of SB Nation:
To make the whole situation even funnier, Robinson told MASN’s Dan Kolko in a post-game interview that he thought it was the eighth inning, not the ninth. So it was an interesting game, to say the least.