Things escalated quickly between the Braves and Marlins on Friday evening as Miami starter Pablo Lopez was ejected after just one pitch. Lopez drilled Ronald Acuña Jr. in the arm — the sixth time Miami’s pitching staff has hit Acuña Jr. with a pitch in his short career — and after a discussion among the umpires, Lopez was ejected.
If you missed the show on Friday night, here’s the aftermath of Lopez’s ejection.
Pablo López has been ejected after hitting Ronald Acuña Jr. with his very first pitch of the game. pic.twitter.com/vIEddH2KJm— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) July 2, 2021
Fittingly, Acuña scored the only run on Friday night as Atlanta won by a score of 1-0.
After the game, Don Mattingly voiced his displeasure with the umpire’s quick ejection of Lopez and called it “disappointing.” He also accused Mike Soroka of “100%” intentionally throwing at and breaking Peter O’Brien’s ribs during the 2018 season. (The HBP in question actually happened in 2019).
Don Mattingly breaks down everything the umpires told him after the Pablo López ejection in the first inning after the Ronald Acuña Jr. HBP— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) July 3, 2021
Mattingly explains how the umpires said the "history" played a factor in the decision to eject López@Marlins | #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/TlVuvrMsX3
Mattingly’s pointed accusation at Soroka does not compute at all. It sounds like a pathetic attempt to try and shift some blame. Why on earth would Mike Soroka go head-hunting after Peter O’Brien, a 28-year-old journeyman who he had never faced in the big leagues before? And why, more than three years later, is this the first time Mattingly has made the accusation? It’s a bush league comment from a bush league manager.
And by the way, the Braves signed O’Brien as a free agent six months after the incident in question. Clearly, O’Brien was very distressed by the incident that Mattingly claims was an intentional effort to injure.
Brian Snitker voiced his displeasure for the continued throwing at Acuña (intentional or not) during his post game press conference.
Brian Snitker's comments on tonight's HBP against Ronald Acuña Jr. ⤵️— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) July 3, 2021
"I'm kinda upset it's the first time they've hit him with the first pitch of the game. ... I've watched it too much." pic.twitter.com/4CXSi1Tlio
The Braves and Marlins will continue their series on Saturday afternoon with Kyle Muller and Sandy Alcantara — who hit Acuña with a pitch during last year’s NLDS — on the mound at 4:05 p.m. ET.