Alvarado suspended for dustup with Dom
Harper, Realmuto return to lineup; Girardi sounds off on baserunning call
PHILADELPHIA -- José Alvarado got a little too aggressive with his on-field antics Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Major League Baseball fined and suspended him three games for his actions in a benches-clearing incident in the eighth inning during a 2-1 victory over the Mets. Alvarado struck out Dominic Smith to end the inning. He celebrated on the mound, but then continued to gesture and shout at Smith. Alvarado threw down his glove at one point, instigating a confrontation. Both benches and bullpens cleared, but no punches were thrown.
Smith and Mets reliever Miguel Castro were fined for their roles in the dustups.
Alvarado is appealing the suspension.
“There’s so much more emotion that’s allowed in this game, and it’s actually encouraged, that I think sometimes things like this are going to happen,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s the fallout. The unfortunate thing is, people want to see emotion, but managers don’t want to see players suspended. To me, it really kind of stinks.”
Harper, Realmuto back in action
Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto returned to the lineup Sunday night after not playing since Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Harper had a sore left wrist after a 97 mph fastball deflected off his face and onto his arm. Realmuto had a sore left hand after trying to block a ball in the dirt. Both took batting practice before the series finale against the Mets to see how they felt.
• Second baseman Jean Segura is eligible to be activated from the 10-day injured list (strained right quadriceps), but he is not ready yet. He ran the bases on Sunday. Segura will be evaluated afterward to determine the next course of action.
• Right-hander Archie Bradley is not ready to begin a rehab assignment. He was delayed when he recently suffered a non-COVID-19-related illness.
• The Phillies reinstated outfielder Roman Quinn from the COVID-related IL. They optioned Mickey Moniak.
Let’s go to the tape
The Phillies had a hard time reconciling a call made in the seventh inning Saturday night. Andrew McCutchen appeared to run a straight line from first to second, but second-base umpire José Navas ruled him out of the baseline.
Asked if he heard from anybody in the league about the call, Girardi said, “I don’t think there’s any explanation needed. It was a poor call. ... I’m sure there are other ones that are obviously tough to swallow, but there’s just nothing he did wrong. Nothing.
"When you tell players the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and then a guy runs a straight line, you’re like, 'Yeah, we did what we told him to do.' And that’s called? I don’t know.”
Some folks like to talk about the human element that umpires bring to the game, but that does lead to situations like this, where teams are left questioning a snap judgment.
“If we have the ability to get calls right, we need to get them right,” Girardi said. “If people are going to talk about the game slowing down, I’ve said all along that there should be someone that can buzz the umpire and say, 'Hold on.' If a call is not right, let’s just change it. There’s some calls that are judgment calls that you can’t change, but that one is probably as clear as any call I’ve ever seen that’s a judgement call that could have been changed. It may have cost us the game.”
Velasquez makes another start in place of Moore
Right-hander Vince Velasquez will pitch against the Brewers on Monday night. It is his third consecutive start in place of left-hander Matt Moore, who got bumped from the rotation recently because of COVID-19 protocols.
Moore is available out of the bullpen, but he has not pitched since his return Monday in St. Louis. His lack of work might be preventing him from returning to the rotation, but the Phillies have not yet found a place for him to pitch.
“I know it’s been hard for Matt,” Girardi said. “We want to get him in there. It’s just picking that right scenario.”
Phils celebrate Mom, honorary bat girl
The Phillies are on the road on Mother’s Day, so they celebrated Sunday.
It included the team honoring Phillies publications director Christine Negley as its honorary bat girl. Negley is in her 30th season with the Phillies. Major League Baseball’s honorary bat girls are chosen based on personal connections to breast cancer, demonstrations of commitment to the battle through education, awareness, fundraising, or additional efforts, and demonstrations of substantial local community impact.
“As someone who hardly ever went to the doctor, leave it to me to be diagnosed with breast cancer during a global pandemic,” Negley wrote. “A routine mammogram in early March 2020 discovered a suspicious mass that required more testing … and then the world locked down. I went for my biopsy on March 17 driving through eerie, empty streets below highway messaging signs urging people to stay at home. When I got the bad news that it was indeed cancer, the medical staff apologized for not being able to comfort me with a hug.
"The next few weeks were a blur of tests and appointments, to which no one could accompany me due to COVID restrictions, despite many generous offers from friends and family. Surgery in late April was followed by a month of radiation treatments in June. After dealing with all this mostly by myself for so long, it was such a gift to return to work when the baseball season resumed in July. Even though there were no fans in the stands and we were doing different jobs, being back at Citizens Bank Park was truly therapeutic for me. I will never be able to properly thank all the amazing doctors, nurses and technicians who have helped me through this journey -- they are all angels -- not to mention my wonderful family and friends who showered me with love, prayers and support the whole way. I am so very blessed.”