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If you come for Joe Girardi’s players, you’ll hear about it from the Phillies manager.
Girardi flashed his little-seen fiery temper after Cardinals pitcher Génesis Cabrera hit two of his stars in Philadelphia’s 5-3 win over St. Louis on Wednesday night.
Right fielder Bryce Harper took a 97-mph fastball to the face in the top of the sixth and exited the game. It was Cabrera’s first pitch of the inning. One pitch later, Cabrera plunked shortstop Didi Gregorius in the ribs with a 94-mph pitch.
The umpires then issued warnings to both teams. That led to the Phillies manager angrily stomping around home plate and taking it upon himself to eject Cabrera (or the umpire). That is not allowed, by the way. Instead, Girardi got tossed from the game.
As he stormed back to the dugout, shuffling his face mask in frustration, Girardi sent one last message directed at Cabrera: “Throw the ball over the f–king plate.”
Following the Phillies’ victory, Girardi said he was proud of how his guys responded to the situation.
“It stinks that they got hit,” Girardi said about Harper and Gregorius. “But how our guys reacted I think is a great thing.”
Girardi went on to explain why, in this case, warnings from the umpires weren’t enough to keep his players protected.
“I understand why they give the warnings, right? Girardi said. “I understand they don’t want things to escalate. They don’t want people to get hit. But if a guy hits a guy in the face and a guy in the ribs with two pitches, he’s got to go, right? If you’re really protecting the players, obviously, he doesn’t have command. He’s got to go.”
Following the game, lefty Cabrera, who appeared visibly frustrated with himself over the plunkings, apologized.
Harper delivered good news about his facial injury in a video post on Instagram.
“Face is still there,” Harper said, showing the aftermath of his bloodied nose. “So we’re all good.”
Harper said “everything feels good” and noted that his CT scan and other tests “came back good.” While his face looked pretty good after taking a “sweet 97 to the face,” it’s likely Harper will experience swelling and discomfort as the area heals.
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