MLB Sports

Marlins' Don Mattingly: Umps had been 'bullied' into ejecting Pablo Lopez for hitting Ronald Acuna Jr.


The Marlins misplaced their beginning pitcher after one pitch Friday evening. Pablo Lopez was ejected for hitting the Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. within the triceps with a 91 mph fastball to steer off the underside of the primary inning.

However Lopez was tossed solely after the umpires, led by crew chief Dan Iassogna, conferred on the sector. They usually met solely after Braves supervisor Brian Snitker roared out of the dugout to make a fuss. Snitker was indignant that one other Marlins pitcher had plunked his star outfielder. The Acuna HBP rely vs. Miami is now as much as six in 55 video games, counting the playoffs.

“It is the third time they’ve hit him with the primary pitch of the sport. I did not know what was going to occur. I’ve watched it an excessive amount of,” Snitker instructed reporters, per

The method left Marlins supervisor Don Mattingly pondering that Snitker labored over the crew to his staff’s profit.

“Principally, Dan bought bullied into it,” Mattingly mentioned in his postgame Zoom name with media. “When it occurred, no one mentioned something.”

Mattingly and Marlins pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. had been ejected for arguing. Mattingly mentioned a number of occasions that the crew “mishandled” the state of affairs.

“I am actually disenchanted within the umpiring crew,” he mentioned.

MORE: Acuna loved going deep in opposition to Urena in ’19

Braves TV analyst Tom Glavine disagreed with the ejection, too, and questioned why the umpires wanted to confer.

“In case you’re not going to (eject Lopez) instantly, then what are you getting collectively and having a gathering for?” Glavine mentioned.  

Mattingly and Lopez each mentioned the pitch was unintentional. Lopez, in truth, winced after the pitch struck Acuna.

“That was only a poorly executed sinker,” Lopez mentioned. “The ball simply ran as a substitute and sadly it hit him. That is not what you need on the primary pitch of the evening.”

After finally taking first base, Acuna got here round to attain the sport’s solely run in a 1-0 Atlanta victory.

He mentioned via an interpreter postgame that the earlier plunkings made him uncertain whether or not this one was intentional.

“Whether or not it was or wasn’t, would not matter to me. My solely focus is that the staff received,” Acuna mentioned, per the Atlanta Journal-Structure.

Mattingly mentioned that Iassogna instructed him historical past was a think about Lopez getting tossed. In August 2018, Jose Urena drilled Acuna within the left elbow with a 97 mph fastball to steer off a recreation, after Acuna had hit Marlins pitching laborious in earlier video games. Urena, like Lopez, was ejected after one pitch. MLB later suspended Urena, who’s now with the Tigers, for six video games.

Mattingly was adamant that what occurred Friday was unrelated to a few years in the past. He additionally tried to level out that the Braves aren’t harmless. 

“There’s completely nothing happening this yr with the Braves,” Mattingly mentioned. “And when Dan tells me due to the historical past and it at all times occurs and it is at all times Acuna, it is simply not true. Simply not true. I am fairly positive (Miami third baseman) Brian Anderson’s been hit six occasions since Acuna’s bought hit. I feel (shortstop Miguel Rojas has) perhaps (been) hit simply as many. (Ex-Marlin) Pete O’Brien’s bought a damaged rib from (Braves pitcher Mike) Soroka, one hundred pc on function (in 2019).

“It is over, ’18’s over, and for Dan to inform me that this can be a historical past, there’s been historical past prior to now from a man who’s not even with us anymore.”


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