Mattingly ejected for arguing check-swing call

Phelps on Marlins manager: 'He's got our backs'

Mattingly ejected for arguing check-swing call

CINCINNATI -- A difference of opinions and an exchange of some harsh words led to an early exit for Marlins manager Don Mattingly on Monday night.

Mattingly was ejected in the third inning by home-plate umpire Bill Welke in a game the Marlins defeated the Reds, 6-3, at Great American Ball Park.

With Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart batting, the count was 2-0 when Welke signaled to Mattingly to quit arguing from the dugout. The incident was initiated by a previous pitch, when an appeal to third-base umpire Pat Hoberg didn't go Miami's way.

Welke appealed to Hoberg on Barnhart's check swing. When the at-bat resumed, and Miami right-hander David Phelps was prepared to throw his third pitch, Mattingly was tossed.

Phelps' eight strikeouts

Before heading to the clubhouse, Mattingly exchanged a few more words near home plate with Welke.

"He's got our backs," Phelps said. "From Day 1 of Spring Training, we've known that. He's gone out of his way to prove that to us, and show us that. When we're up or we're down, he's going to be fighting for us."

The ejection was Mattingly's third of the season, and it came with the Marlins and Reds tied at 1.

"He talked to us the first day of Spring Training, all he asked is effort," Phelps said. "If we give him effort, he can battle to the end of the world for us. He's also giving us that effort back. Even when we've been in some of our worst stretches, he's still been a guy that has been a constant presence for us. That's what we need in this clubhouse."

Bench coach Tim Wallach assumed Miami's managing duties.

What was Wallach's take on the check swing?

"I think my skipper had it right," Wallach said.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.