With the Phillies trailing 2-0 with two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett threw a pitch to Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon that was ruled a ball by homeplate umpire Chris Guccione. Rendon proceed to take Burnett deep for a three-run home run to put the Nationals up 5-0.
Burnett's next pitch was outside to Jayson Werth. Burnett appeared to say something and point at homeplate when Guccione leaped from his stance and ran out in front of the plate to eject Burnett from the game.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg came out and got heated with Guccione who proceeded to toss the Phillies' skipper.
CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury caught up with Burnett following the game. Burnett said, "I did ask him twice in the first and second innings if [a pitch] was out or down. Then I threw purposely out of the zone (to Werth) and I said the same thing except as more of a statement than a question, like, ‘That was out,’ and that was it. A pretty quick trigger."
Guccione told Salisbury, "He walks a guy. And one pitch (to Rendon), OK, I’ll give it to him, it was close. I don’t know if it was in the zone or out of the zone, but I had it off the plate. It was close. So Rendon hits the home run. He comes off the mound and starts yelling at me. I said, ‘A.J., that’s enough.’ I gave him the ball and said, ‘OK, hopefully it’s over.’ Then, the first pitch to Werth, off the plate, and he pointed and he said, ‘Now that’s F-in outside.’ And he yelled at me. With that he was ejected."
You can see Burnett say/yell something at Guccione but immediately turned his back. It didn't appear like he had time to yell "Now that’s F-in outside" and yell anything else so there is a small hole in Guccione's story.
Either way, Burnett has to be more careful with a depleted bullpen after Thursday night. As Sandberg reiterated after the game, he cannot get tossed in that situation. With that said, Guccione appeared to have a desire for the spotlight last night. His theatrics throwing out Burnett had "ego" written all over it.
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