Harper throws helmet, gets ejected in Nats’ loss to Rockies
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper yelled at umpire Mike Winters and threw his helmet to the ground, leading to his ejection from the Washington Nationals’ 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.
Harper erupted after a called third strike from Winters in the 10th inning. Harper insisted a 95 mph fastball from Jake McGee (1-3) was beyond the outside corner.
“It was off the plate,” Harper said. “I could possibly see one more pitch and maybe hit a homer or a double or walk — I could even strike out. But I just wanted to see that last pitch, and I never got there.
“It just shouldn’t happen. Just bad behind there. It’s not a strike.”
Harper immediately turned and screamed at Winters, and the plate umpire calmly ejected him. Harper was replaced by Chris Heisey, and the Nationals lost in 11 innings after the Rockies scored five runs off Yusmeiro Petit (3-4).
“You don’t ever want to get ejected, but you don’t want an umpire to make a mistake in that big of a situation,” Harper said. “That’s just not good. I wanted to see that last pitch. We could have possibly not played the 11th or the 12th or whatever.”
Manager Dusty Baker said Harper’s frustration mounted over time, and he wasn’t just frustrated with Winters.
“Everybody blows up from time to time,” Baker said. “These things happen this time of year when tempers are short. It’s hot, you’ve played a lot of games, you’ve been around the same people for a long period of time and this is the time of the year when tempers do flare up.”
Before Harper got tossed, the Nationals were on the wrong side of an intentional-walk wild pitch. Starter A.J. Cole threw the ball away while trying to walk Daniel Descalso in the fourth, which allowed Nolan Arenado to score.
“I haven’t seen an intentional walk go awry in a long time,” Baker said. “They were just going to say, ‘Take your base’ intentionally, but that’s a reason you know for it not to.”
Cole allowed three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Recently acquired reliever Marc Rzepczynski allowed one run — unearned because of his own throwing error — in 2 1/3 innings, his longest outing since the 2011 NLCS.
With his RBI single in the fourth, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos snapped a 1-for-23 slump. Ramos is the National League’s best hitting catcher this season with a .312 average.
Rockies closer Adam Ottavino’s streak of not allowing a run ended at 31 1/3 innings on Jayson Werth’s RBI single that tied the score in the ninth. Dating to Sept. 6, 2014, it was the longest active streak in the majors.
“It’s disappointing, obviously, when he got the hit, but the game’s over if the next guy gets a hit,” said Ottavino, who got Murphy to ground out to send the game to extra innings. “I’m happy I got that guy out so we were able to do what we did and win the game.”
Rockies: Weiss said RHP Tyler Chatwood (mid-back strain) will go on a rehab assignment with details still to be determined.
Nationals: RHP Joe Ross, who has been out since early July with shoulder inflammation, will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.
RHP Chad Bettis (10-7, 5.29 ERA) starts for the second time in 12 days against the Nationals, who will call up RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, 4.91) to make his fourth career major league start.