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Harper ejected after arguing called third strike

MIAMI -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was ejected for the second time this season for arguing balls and strikes, being thrown out in the eighth inning of Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Marlins.

With the Nats leading, 1-0, Harper was called out on strikes by home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. Harper was clearly upset, thinking the ball was out of the strike zone.

Wendelstedt immediately ejected Harper. Manager Davey Johnson tried his best to intervene, but the damage had already been done. It didn't help that Harper was called out on strikes two innings earlier.

"I gave [Wendelstedt] my peace of mind," Harper said. "I got out what I wanted to get out. … I got tossed."

The Nationals had a chance to score in the 10th inning against Marlins closer Steve Cishek. They had runners on second and third with one out, but both Scott Hairston and Ryan Zimmerman struck out to end the threat.

Teammate Ian Desmond didn't mince words ,saying that Harper should have bit his tongue and remained in the game. It was Hairston who entered as Harper's replacement.

"I usually try to say the right thing, I guess, but we have to have our three-hole hitter in the game right there. It's as simple as that," Desmond said. "The person that hits in the three-hole is usually your best hitter, one of your better players, usually the best. There is no doubt that his skill set is there, but … in a one-run ballgame ... we need that game.

"That's the game you have to stay in, no matter what. Sometimes you have to bite your tongue. You get bad calls against us. The umpires didn't look at the replays or anything like that. But you have to stay in the game -- you have to for your team."

Even Johnson thought Harper was wrong.

"He can't do that," the manager said. "Take it out on the pitcher. You can't take your frustration out on the umpire."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
Read More: Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper