Ejection Inspection, Week 18: Dave Martinez of Washington Nationals Gets Ejected in First Inning, Argues the Wrong Pitch

Dave Martinez
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Manager Dave Martines #4 holds back Adam Eaton # 2 from umpire Jeremie Rehak after getting thrown out in the first inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Dave Martinez Gets Ejected in the First Inning and Argues the Wrong Pitch

Welcome to Week 18 of Ejection Inspection! The premise and ground rules are detailed here. The condensed version: each ejection from the previous week (Thursday through Wednesday) is listed in a table. The author – a former player/coach/umpire – analyzes each ejection and assigns it an entertainment rating of one to five Weavers in honor of late Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver. The highlight of this column came from Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who argued the wrong pitch – in animated fashion – after being ejected in the bottom of the first inning.

(For a list of every article in this series, click here.)

There were 17 ejections in Week 18 – five managers, one coach, and 11 players. Nine ejections came in Tuesday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the host Cincinnati Reds, and they have their own special report.

Ejection Table

1 Thu 7/25 BOS NYY B3 Brock Holt 2B D.J. Reyburn HP Arguing balls and strikes
2 Sat 7/27 PIT @NYM B1 Clint Hurdle Mgr Hunter Wendlestedt HP Arguing balls and strikes
3 Sat 7/27 TEX @OAK B8 Rafael Montero P Sean Barber HP Intentionally throwing at batter
4 Sat 7/27 TEX @OAK B8 Chris Woodward Mgr Sean Barber HP Violation of team warning
5 Sun 7/28 CIN COL T5 Nick Senzel CF Bill Miller HP Arguing balls and strikes
6 Sun 7/28 WSN LAD B1 Adam Eaton RF Jeremie Rehak HP Arguing balls and strikes
7 Sun 7/28 WSN LAD B1 Dave Martinez Mgr Jeremie Rehak HP Arguing balls and strikes
8 Sun 7/28 CWS MIN B6 Rick Renteria Mgr Angel Hernandez HP Arguing balls/strikes
9 Tue 7/30 CIN PIT B8 David Bell Mgr Larry Vanover HP Arguing balls/strikes
10 Tue 7/30 CIN PIT T9 Jared Hughes P Larry Vanover HP Intentionally throwing at batter
11 Tue 7/30 CIN PIT T9 Freddie Benavides BeC Larry Vanover HP Violation of team warning
12 Tue 7/30 PIT @CIN T9 Trevor Williams P Larry Vanover HP Bench jockeying an opponent
13 Tue 7/30 CIN PIT T9 Amir Garrett P Larry Vanover HP Fighting
14 Tue 7/30 CIN PIT T9 Yasiel Puig RF Larry Vanover HP Fighting
15 Tue 7/30 PIT @CIN T9 Chris Archer P Larry Vanover HP Fighting
16 Tue 7/30 PIT @CIN T9 Kyle Crick P Larry Vanover HP Fighting
17 Tue 7/30 PIT @CIN T9 Francisco Cervelli C Larry Vanover HP Entering field while on injured list

 

Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox Second Baseman

When

Thursday, July 25th, vs. New York Yankees, bottom of the third

Umpire

D.J. Reyburn (HP)

Description

Holt took an 0-2 pitch just above the knees that clipped the outside corner. Reyburn rang him up, and Holt snapped GD as he spun toward Reyburn and said, “That pitch was (bleeping) down.” Reyburn defended his call, then Holt said, “I’m gonna look at it and tell you next at-bat” as he stormed to the dugout. He finished by saying “all day” twice. When he was about to reach the dugout, he started to yell over his shoulder once more, so Reyburn ejected him. He and Cora both sprinted to Reyburn to argue before they both left the field.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, since it seemed low and away to him, even though it clipped the corner of the zone. However, arguing like that with a 7-2 never looks good.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes. Reyburn gave him some leeway to vent before he walked away. Where Holt went wrong was yelling back over his shoulder after the conversation ended. That will always get players tossed.

Entertainment Rating

Two Weavers, after considering both the initial argument and the subsequent barking.

 

Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates Manager

When

Saturday, July 27th, at New York Mets, bottom of the first

Umpire

Hunter Wendelstedt (HP)

Description

Wendelstedt called leadoff batter Kevin Newman out on strikes. The pitch appeared to be just above the zone. Melky Cabrera grounded the first pitch to second for out number two. Number three hitter Starling Marte took the first pitch low for a ball then swung through the next two. Marte then took strike three belt-high and over the inside corner.

Hurdle emerged from the dugout and yelled, “Let’s go! Come on!” as he walked to Marte and calmed him down. While doing so, he looked at Wendelstedt and said something that was difficult to make out from lip-reading. He held his hands about a foot and a half apart as he said it, and Wendelstedt pitched him.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, but only from Newman’s strikeout. Marte’s was fine, as that ball was breaking sharply toward him as it crossed the plate.

Was the ejection justified?

Technically, yes, but that was an unusually quick trigger from Wendelstedt. That early in the game, he should have tried to calm the situation instead of ejecting Hurdle so quickly.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. There was nothing memorable about this.

 

Rafael Montero, Texas Rangers Pitcher
Chris Woodward, Texas Rangers Manager

When

Saturday, July 27th, at Oakland Athletics, bottom of the eighth

Umpire

Sean Barber (HP)

Description

This had a background. When the teams met June 8th in Arlington, Athletics first baseman Mark Canha homered to left off Adrian Sampson. After Canha recoiled from the swing, he started off walking to first as he determined the path of the ball. When he saw it was fair, he began to run it out. Before Canha even determined that the ball was fair, Sampson pointed to first and yelled, “(Bleeping) run!” When Canha returned to the dugout, he said, “I’ll run,” then swung his arms in an exaggerated manner. Later that inning, Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano flied to center for the third out. He claimed that Sampson intentionally stepped on his bat while leaving the field – a big no-no.

Back to this game. Canha homered off Sampson in the second inning, and he immediately ran hard out of the box. (It should be noted that the ball was well fair and was a line drive that did not initially appear to be high enough to clear the fence.) During Canha’s next at-bat, a 1-2 pitch hit him in the elbow. In the sixth, Laureano hit a 450-foot missile off Sampson that landed on the staircase in left. He started to walk to first, saying to Sampson, “Want to step on my bat now? Step on it!” Barber restrained Sampson and warned both benches.

Laureano next batted in the bottom of the eighth, facing Montero. The first two pitches were well inside, and the third one hit Laureano on the upper arm. Furious, Laureano started jawing at both Barber and Montero as he made his way toward first. The benches emptied, but cooler heads prevailed before any shoving or punching occurred.

Understand the frustration?

Both teams had good reason to be upset.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes. The umpires handled this well, keeping it from turning into a way-out-of-hand feud, unlike the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. Little of this was memorable.

 

Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds Center Fielder

When

Sunday, July 28th, vs. Colorado Rockies, top of the fifth

Umpire

Bill Miller (HP)

Description

Senzel batted in the bottom of the fourth with two out, a runner on third, and the Reds leading, 2-0. He fouled off the first pitch from Peter Lambert then took the second pitch. It came across over the outside corner with lots of downward movement, clipping the zone as it crossed the plate. Miller called it a strike, but Senzel greatly disagreed, snapping his head to his right to argue with Miller, who told him to knock it off and get back in the box. The next pitch missed away by about six to eight inches. Pitch number four came close to where the second pitch did, but Senzel fouled this one off. Five pitches later, after Senzel had worked the count to 3-2 and fouled off a few tough pitches, he chased a pitch in the dirt, retiring the side.

Before going to his position, Senzel got right in Miller’s face to continue arguing. He prolonged the argument and did not stop when the third base coach and warmup catcher tried to pull him away. In fact, that charged him up even more, and Miller had enough, sending Senzel to the showers. Bell sent him to the dugout and then argued with Miller a bit before leaving the field.

Understand the frustration?

No. Even though the pitch Senzel disputed may have seemed a little low, he had a great rest of the at-bat. Furthermore, it is not the umpire’s fault that Senzel chased the pitch in the dirt. For him to argue, especially to the extent he did, was both childish and selfish.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, and Miller showed tremendous patience by waiting as long as he did before chucking Senzel.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. This was foolish.

 

Adam Eaton, Washington Nationals Right Fielder
Dave Martinez, Washington Nationals Manager

When

Sunday, July 28th, vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, bottom of the first

Umpire

Jeremie Rehak (HP)

Description

Eaton – the second batter of the game – worked the count to 3-1. He received a pitch was clearly above the zone according to everyone in the stadium except Rehak, whose strike zone has been questionable all season. Eaton trotted to first and tossed his bat toward the dugout, making it two thirds of the way to first before turning around. He swung and missed a filthy slider for the second out of the inning. Before heading to the dugout, he took a step toward it, turned around and said a few words to Rehak, and then resumed his path off the field. After he took three steps, Rehak yanked off his mask and dumped him.

Eaton shot back into Rehak’s face and told him, “That’s (bleeping) (expletive starting with bull)!” Then Dave Martinez shoved him out of the way and barked in Rehak’s face. Martinez hollered two or three sentences before pointing toward the plate and yelling, “Right there!” Rehak gave him the heave-ho, but Martinez was not even close to done. Martinez pointed and yelled, “You (bleeped) up!” multiple times, along with other expletives.

Martinez then argued that the pitch was “right here” and drug his foot over the inner line of the left-handed batter’s box. He continued, bending over to sweep his hand. (Problem is, the pitch in dispute was high and over the heart of the plate.) After that, he continued barking for a few more sentences before storming to the clubhouse.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. Strike two to Eaton was high, for one. Secondly, he was walking away from Rehak and did not yell back over his shoulder, so he understandably felt that the ejection was unjust. For Dave Martinez, losing his center fielder in the first inning was bad enough, but for it to happen this way made it worse.

Was the ejection justified?

Technically, yes, but this was a quick trigger by Rehak. Furthermore, for him to wait until Eaton had already taken three steps away from him to throw him out was uncalled for. Martinez did deserve it, but few could blame him for reacting the way he did.

Entertainment Rating

Eaton receives One Weaver, but Dave Martinez receives Four Weavers. Not only did he go nuts, but he drew a line in the dirt with his foot while arguing the wrong pitch. It was hilarious.

 

Rick Renteria, Chicago White Sox Manager

When

Sunday, July 28th, vs. Minnesota Twins, bottom of the sixth

Umpire

Angel Hernandez (HP)

Description

Designated hitter Eloy Jimenez batted in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded, no outs, and the White Sox trailing, 9-1. He worked the count full before taking a pitch that was over the middle of the plate but appeared to be low. Hernandez rang him up, irritating the entire White Sox team. Renteria stepped onto the warning track to argue with Hernandez, pointing while doing so. Hernandez told him to stop, but Renteria continued until Hernandez bounced him. Renteria came onto the field and argued some more before leaving.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. The pitch was low, and the bases were loaded. Ball four would have walked in a run.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, because he came out of the dugout to argue balls and strikes and was warned to return.

Entertainment Rating

Two Weavers. Renteria got in Hernandez’s face and barked a bit, but not all that much. He said the word “baja” a lot – Spanish for “low.”

 

Leaderboard

After 18 weeks, here are the leaders. Fight-related ejections are not counted toward the leaderboard.

Managers: Reds manager David Bell (eight), Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire (seven)
Players: Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (two)
Team high: Reds (17; 21 if including fights), Tigers (nine), Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox (eight each).
Team low: Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays (one each)
Umpire: Mike Estabrook (eight)

Look for Week 19 on Thursday, August 8th.

Evan Thompson played baseball as a youth and teenager. He also umpired between 1995 and 2004 and has coached at the high school level.

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