Machado first to be ejected for arguing pitch timer violation

April 5th, 2023

SAN DIEGO -- Padres slugger was ejected in the bottom of the first inning of an 8-6 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday afternoon after arguing a pitch timer violation.

With the clock running down, Machado attempted to call timeout, though home-plate ump Ron Kulpa judged that Machado had done so after the timer reached the eight-second mark -- at which point the hitter must be in the box and ready for the pitch. An MLB official said that Kulpa made the correct call.

Hitters are permitted one timeout per plate appearance, and Machado -- after working a full count against D-backs right-hander Zac Gallen -- had not used his. With the timer ticking past eight seconds, Machado attempted to call time.

Instead, Machado was assessed a strike, meaning he struck out to end the inning. He promptly turned to Kulpa to argue, then, as he began to walk away, got a few extra words in. That's when Kulpa tossed Machado -- his 10th career ejection.

“I called it at eight seconds,” Machado said. “He did not give it to me. Now I got struck out. Hurt my team by coming out of the game and getting tossed there. I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Machado becomes the first Major League player to be ejected for arguing a violation of the new pitch timer, which was implemented this season. MLB has instructed clubs that arguing violations will be treated the same as arguing balls and strikes. That means that anyone who argues or challenges a decision will be ejected.

Nonetheless, Machado contended that he realized he wasn’t going to be ready prior to the eight-second mark and that’s why he called time in the first place. He and Kulpa disagreed on the timing of Machado’s request, and replays showed it to be a close call.

Manager Bob Melvin didn’t dispute Machado’s ejection, noting only, “Our contention was: If he’d gotten the timeout, we wouldn’t have had that situation.”

Machado had started Tuesday's game as the designated hitter, rather than his usual spot at third base. took over for Machado in the DH spot and launched his first home run as a Padre in the fourth inning in his first at-bat.