Washington Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg threw three consecutive wild pitches on Saturday in an at-bat against Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons in the second inning.
Not only did Strasburg get ejected for evidently trying to hit Simmons, but he also allowed Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer to score, which cut the Nationals' lead to 4-2 at Turner Field.
Home plate umpire Marvin Hudson had seen enough, deciding to toss Strasburg after the final pitch whizzed behind Simmons and into the backstop. Video of Strasburg's last pitch, and Washington manager Davey Johnson's brief visit with Hudson on the diamond, can be viewed at MLB.com.
As CSN Washington points out, the fact that Strasburg was forced to leave also meant Johnson's night was over:
Quick note: By rule, Davey Johnson was also ejected with Strasburg since the Nationals had gotten a warning. #NationalsTalk— CSN Washington (@CSNwashington) August 18, 2013
The outlet's Nationals beat reporter Mark Zuckerman believes both Strasburg and Johnson are likely to be dealt suspensions by Major League Baseball:
Should be noted that Stephen Strasburg and Davey Johnson will almost certainly face suspensions from MLB now. #NationalsTalk— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) August 18, 2013
Mark Bowman of MLB.com highlighted just how off-target Strasburg's third successive wild pitch was:
Strasburg is ejected after throwing consecutive pitches behind Simmons. They came closer to hitting Davey Johnson than Simmons— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 18, 2013
This unfortunate incident came to fruition due to recently increased tensions between the two clubs.
Johnson sat out his other prodigy Bryce Harper on Saturday after the 20-year-old was drilled by a Luis Avilan fastball in the left triceps in the previous game. Amanda Comak of The Washington Times reports that Harper tried to get loose in the batting cage before the game, but was unable to.
Should Stephen Strasburg and Davey Johnson receive suspensions?
It marked the third time Harper had been plucked by the Braves in four games, and as Comak documented, Johnson hinted before Saturday's game that a retaliation may be coming.
"I never order a pitcher to go after anybody...But we have a way ofour own," said Johnson.
Strasburg may have been sticking up for his teammate by taking aim at Simmons in direct response to Atlanta's pitchers beaning Harper.
The Nationals had been 3-11 against the Braves in 14 contests this season entering Saturday's game, and were trailing them by 15.5 games in the National League East division.