PHILADELPHIA -- The pitch looked like a strike, so Carlos Ruiz turned his head, looked at home-plate umpire Gary Cederstrom and told him that.
Cederstrom apparently did not appreciate the eye contract.
He ejected Ruiz in the top of the third inning of Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park for arguing a 0-1 pitch to Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa. The ejection made an already thin Phillies lineup even thinner as Ruiz is hitting .344 with eight doubles, seven home runs and a team-high 29 RBIs.
Cederstrom directed questions about the ejection to the Commissioner's Office, and Ruiz left the ballpark before the clubhouse opened to reporters, which left Charlie Manuel and Roy Halladay, who was pitching at the time, to discuss it. Both said Ruiz used no obscenities.
"I didn't see anything wrong with what he did, to be honest with you," Halladay said. "He didn't turn around. He didn't get in his face. He didn't use obscene language. He simply said he thought the pitch was a strike. He said it a couple times and, you know, I don't know -- I've never seen one like that before.
"And it's unfortunate because he's our best player and he gets run out of the game, really, for saying the pitch was a strike. I've never seen one like that."
Said Manuel: "When I went out there, [Cederstrom] said, 'He turned around and looked at me and I put him out.' That's what he said."
Quick hook, Charlie?
"I'd say that's pretty quick," he said.
So Ruiz got ejected for looking at an umpire?
"I guess that's the way we're going," Manuel said.
It was Ruiz's second career ejection. Brian Schneider took his place behind the plate.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.