Phillies manager Girardi ejected after spat with Nats' Scherzer

·2 min read
Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer is frisked for foreign substances by umpires during the fourth inning of a MLB game against the Philadelphia Phillies

Starter Max Scherzer pitched five solid innings, struck out eight and got into a spat with opposing manager Joe Girardi as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 on Tuesday.

Phillies boss Girardi was ejected in the fifth inning after asking the umpires to check Scherzer for a foreign substance but nothing was found.

The move incensed Scherzer who denied the accusation, saying: "I would be an absolute fool to use anything tonight when everyone's antennae are so high."

Major League Baseball on Monday began to enforce a rule book edict prohibiting the use of any foreign substances on the baseball by the pitchers.

The drama started in the middle of the fourth inning when Girardi asked umpire Alfonso Marquez to check Scherzer's hair for a possible foreign substance. The umps looked at Scherzer's hat, glove and hands but couldn't find anything wrong.

"I've seen Max a long time, since 2010," Girardi said. "Obviously, he's going to be a Hall of Famer. But I've never seen him wipe his head like he was doing tonight. Ever. So it was suspicious for me.

"He did it about four times. It was suspicious. I didn't mean to offend anyone. I just have to do what's right for our club."

Scherzer dropped his glove and cap as Marquez and his crew approached. He even started to undo the belt on his pants.

"I wasn't heated, I was just trying to show I have absolutely zero on me," Scherzer said. "I have nothing on me, check whatever you want. I'll take off all my clothes if you want to see me. I have nothing on me."

Girardi wasn't ejected until after the fifth inning when Scherzer stared him down as the pitcher left the mound. That caused the Phillies manager to come out onto the field.

The home plate umpire decided he had seen enough and threw Girardi out of the game.

"I'm not playing games. I'm trying to win games here," said Girardi. "I have respect for the other people over there. I have respect for what Max has done in his career. Again, I have to do what's right for our team."

Yan Gomes singled twice and drove in two runs, Juan Soto added two hits and two runs scored in the win.

Scherzer allowed two hits and one run. He has had been struggling with a groin injury this season.


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