Even on his days off, Stephen Strasburg is paying close attention.
The Nationals starter and reigning World Series MVP was sitting in the stands at Citi Field on Thursday watching his club face the New York Mets in their series finale. In the bottom of the third, Austin Voth attempted to put Pete Alonso away with a breaking ball at the bottom of the strike zone. Alonso laid off and catcher Yan Gomes attempted to frame the pitch, but home plate umpire Carlos Torres called it a ball to push the count to 3-2.
That call didn’t sit well with the Nationals. Gomes held his glove up in the air even after Torres made the call and then took a few extra seconds before throwing the ball back to Voth. Torres then turned to the Nationals’ dugout and yelled for them to stop chirping about the strike zone. When he continued to hear arguments from the third-base side, he threw out someone on their bench.
Only the player he threw out wasn’t on the bench. Strasburg stood up and tipped his cap to the umpire as he walked out of his seat in the stands and up toward the concourse.
"GOOD DAY, SIR!" pic.twitter.com/jpxHNUkWnT— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) August 13, 2020
The incident wasn’t the first time the Nationals had expressed their displeasure with Torres’ calls Thursday afternoon. Juan Soto was called out looking with the bases loaded on a pitch low in the zone and he had a few words with the umpire before walking back to the dugout.
Juan Soto strikes out looking with the bases loaded and didn't like the call. He stood in the box for a bit and chatted with home-plate umpire Carlos Torres. See for yourself: pic.twitter.com/29VEJjTNbE— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) August 13, 2020
Immediately after Strasburg’s ejection, Voth threw an almost identical pitch to Alonso and this time got the strike call. It was then the Mets’ bench to express their displeasure with Torres. The following inning, Soto was hit in the back by a 1-0 pitch thrown by Mets starter David Peterson. Both benches were issued warnings by the umpire crew.
The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth at the time.
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