Rockies lefty hit Phillies third baseman, who homered in 1st
By Thomas Harding and Evan Webeck
PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson and manager Walt Weiss disagreed with their fourth-inning ejections from Saturday night's 6-3 loss to the Phillies, but they both chalked it up to an understandable misunderstanding.
Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco launched a three-run first-inning homer and led off the fourth, which saw Anderson's first pitch hit him in the left knee. Home-plate umpire Eric Cooper ticketed Anderson with an immediate ejection. Weiss earned his ejection for protesting while Chris Rusin warmed up on the mound to replace Anderson.
Anderson and Weiss said the Rockies were not paying back Franco for the homer or his celebration, which involved stutter-stepping around third base, galloping to the plate, blowing a kiss to the sky before landing on the dish, pointing to the stands, and then skipping to the dugout while high-fiving teammates.
"[Cooper] was just saying you can't hit a guy after he hit a home run," said Anderson, who said Franco set up closer to the plate than before, and he wanted to establish the inside part. "It's unfortunate because obviously it's not intentional when you hit a guy in the shin. But I understand where he's coming from. I just put him in a tough spot."
Weiss said, "I don't allow our guys to do that. We don't throw at guys because they hit home runs."
Franco didn't think it was on purpose. It took him by surprise to even get a pitch that far inside, despite homering his last at-bat.
"I wasn't expecting the ball coming," Franco said. "I didn't do anything wrong. I just run the bases. At this moment, you get mad a little bit."
Crew chief Gary Cederstrom, speaking to a pool reporter, said Cooper ruled Anderson was "intentionally throwing at the hitter. You have three options. Choose to do nothing and play on, issue a warning or eject. And Eric chose ejection."
After the hit batsman, Anderson walked toward the plate, made a gesture toward the Phillies and said something, and he and Franco then postured at each other. But Anderson and Franco said Anderson wasn't speaking in anger at Franco.
Weiss said Anderson was saying he didn't mean to do it. Franco's story matches up, saying that Anderson told him that he was sorry for hitting him and that it wasn't on purpose.
No one said that the hit batsman had anything to do with Friday night. After Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu homered with two out in the ninth inning of the Phillies' 10-6 victory, Phillies reliever David Hernandez threw high and inside to Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
It was the first Major League ejection for Anderson, who debuted this season and was making his 12th start. It was the second ejection this year for Weiss and the sixth of his managerial career. The ejection came at a difficult time for the Rockies' bullpen. Saturday's heat index of 105 marked the third straight game in extreme temperatures. In those contests, Chad Bettis went five innings on Thursday at Texas, Jon Gray lasted 4 2/3 on Friday night and Anderson went three-plus.