Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper hit his second home run with his new team, a solo shot in the seventh inning Sunday night against the Braves. Reliever Shane Carle surrendered the blast to the superstar. After throwing a first-pitch fastball in the center of the strike zone to the next batter, Rhys Hoskins, Carle threw another fastball up and in. Hoskins was none too happy about that. Home plate umpire Rob Drake immediately ejected Carle. Catcher Brian McCann argued with Drake for a while, but the decision stood. Luke Jackson came in to relieve Carle.
It was a quick hook by Drake. Carle wasn’t trying to hit Hoskins, especially since the first pitch was basically down the middle. But Harper is one of baseball’s few golden boys and pitchers have been known to retaliate to home runs by throwing chin music to the next batter. The impulse to protect players was good, even if the execution turned out to be wrong.
The Phillies appear to be on their way to a season-opening series sweep against the Braves. The score is 5-1 heading into the top of the eighth as this post goes live.