Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper was irate on Sunday and appeared to direct his ire toward Colorado Rockies pitcher Jake Bird in the seventh inning of their matchup.
The incident occurred after the top of the seventh inning was complete. Bird appeared to direct his celebration toward the Phillies’ dugout and Harper took issue. The outfielder charged toward the Rockies dugout and chaos ensued. Harper had to be held back as the benches cleared. He would later be ejected.
Colorado won the game 4-0 and Harper explained his actions afterward.
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“I get emotional,” he said, via MLB.com. “I understand getting fired up for an inning and stuff like that. But once you make it about a team or make it about yourself and the other team, that’s when I’ve kind of got a problem with it.
“You guys saw my reaction. I wasn’t very happy. He kind of just did what he did and after that he kind of flew away and just like went into the dugout.”
Harper said he appreciated his team having his back at that moment. He was restrained by Rockies catcher Elias Diaz and then Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan.
PHILLIES’ BRYCE HARPER, MANAGER ROB THOMSON EJECTED AFTER BENCHES CLEAR AGAINST ROCKIES
“After that point, I went out there just to go,” Harper added. “J.T. (Realmuto) was right behind me. Taijuan (Walker), same thing. I appreciate my teammates for coming out with me and doing that. It was the heat of the moment. Once we got out there, (Bird) just flew into the dugout and went away. Nobody really saw him after he did what he did.”
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said a guy yelling into the dugout “shouldn’t happen.”
Bird was also ejected from the game.
“I get a little emotional on the mound sometimes,” Bird said, adding his comments were not aimed at anyone in particular. “It’s a good team. It was a big moment. I got a little emotional out there. They took exception to it.
“He’s a great player,” Bird said of Harper. “He plays with emotion. I love that he plays with emotion. He’s a player I look up to.”
Colorado improved to 17-24 with the win. Philadelphia fell to 20-20.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.