Philadelphia Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler is extremely unhappy with the Atlanta Braves, which with no context would be odd, considering the club is off to an impressive 3-0 start to the 2019 season.
Leading 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, right after Bryce Harper launched his second home run, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins was hit by a pitch near the head by Braves pitcher Shane Carle. Without hesitation, home plate umpire Rob Drake ejected Carle.
Hoskins had been thrown at multiple times prior in the series, and Kapler simply had enough, as evidenced in the message he relayed to reporters following the win.
"“It really pisses me off when balls go underneath Rhys Hoskins' chin. It really bugs me," Kapler said. "He's one of our leaders. He is, in many ways, the heartbeat of our club, and it really bothers me when that happens."
The ejection was the Braves' first of the season, and the third overall for MLB.
🔥Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler FIRED Up about Rhys Hoskins getting Hit by pitch after Bryce Harper’s HR:— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) April 1, 2019
“It really pisses me off when balls go underneath Rhys Hoskins chin. It really bugs me” @6abc #GabeKapler #BryceHarper #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/B1bGRCJS1D
Close Call Sports describes the play:
With none out and none on, Harper hit a lead-off home run. Immediately thereafter, Hoskins took a 0-1 fastball from Carle for a hit-by-pitch. Replays indicate the 93.2-mph fastball was located inside and struck Hoskins on the left shoulder, the call was irrecusable. No prior warnings had been issued and Hoskins was the third hit batsman of the game.
Kapler also voiced concern since Hoskins fractured his jaw when being hit by a similar pitch last season and missed time; he used a double-flapped helmet upon return.
Rhys Hoskins was asked about the pitches to his chin, possibly in retaliation for team celebrating home runs:” Don’t give up the homer then.”— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) April 1, 2019
The Phillies won the game, 5-1, securing the series sweep. They will not play the Braves again until June. It will be interesting to see if the club retaliates, how, and when.