Manager tossed defending rookie pitcher, who also is thrown out after being removed
WASHINGTON -- Alex Wood has been a composed and rather quiet character throughout his rookie season. But thanks to a costly and disputed call made by veteran umpire CB Bucknor, we now know that Wood also has a fiery temper.
Wood and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez were both ejected in the fifth inning of Wednesday night's 5-2 win after Bucknor's call on a 3-2 pitch to Jayson Werth with the bases loaded.
"It was one of those things where I let my emotions get the best of me," Wood said. "That was a big situation and I felt the call could have gone the other way. I did some things and said some things that I probably shouldn't have said. I immediately regretted it as soon as I got inside [the clubhouse]."
Wood bounced off the mound and began pointing while delivering some choice words toward Bucknor. Gonzalez rushed to the plate and earned an ejection while attempting to prevent his rookie pitcher from suffering the same fate.
"I couldn't tell if it was a ball or a strike from the dugout," Gonzalez said. "But the way the young man reacted, he's got three months in the big leagues, he's not going to overreact that way. After coming up here and looking over it at two or three different angles, it was a tough pitch. But nevertheless, I thought it was a strike."
After Bryce Harper followed with a sacrifice fly that gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead, bench coach Carlos Tosca came to the mound to remove Wood, who then earned his first career ejection when he issued more heated words toward Bucknor.
"You want fiery emotions and stuff like that," Gonzalez said. "But that is something that [pitching coach Roger McDowell] and I will talk [to Wood] about. Whether you're a rookie or a veteran, you don't do that kind of stuff on the mound. But he was fired up. He thought he made a [heck] of a pitch on Werth, and he almost got out of that jam."
Wood's reaction seemed to spark the Braves, who scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning against Ross Ohlendorf, who had faced the minimum through the first five innings.
But nevertheless, Wood does not expect to react in this way in the future. He said he will apologize to Bucknor the next time he sees him.
"It was a big situation," Wood said. "I thought I made a pitch and I didn't. I reacted the complete opposite way as I should have. I probably would have still been in the game if I didn't react the way I did. It's one of those things where I regret it."