ST. LOUIS -- Center fielder Peter Bourjos and manager Mike Matheny were both ejected by home-plate umpire Sean Barber at the end of the fourth inning after both expressed displeasure in Barber's strike zone. It was Matheny's first ejection this season and the first of Bourjos' career.
Bourjos was seemingly surprised to be called out on strikes in his second-inning at-bat, as he heard Barber's call while making a move toward first after he thought the 3-2 pitch from Atlanta's Ervin Santana was inside. Bourjos then struck out swinging to end the fourth and while heading to the dugout turned to exchange words with Barber.
It was during his walk away that he was thrown out of the game. That set Matheny off.
"Probably the most frustrating part of it was watching my player get thrown out of the game when he's walking away," said Matheny, who now has seven career managerial ejections. "I understand he's going to get his words in, the umpire stopped him. It seemed like he told him that was enough. Peter stopped and started to go and then he was tossed.
"And [there was] the fact that I had been able to see a couple of the pitches myself and was just as frustrated as Peter and the rest of our bench. Once again, you can't take emotions out of this game."
Matheny ran onto the field and initiated an even more heated argument that appeared to include a chest bump into Barber, though Matheny said afterward he didn't think he made contact with him. Matheny had to be restrained by second-base umpire Eric Cooper.
If Matheny is determined to have made contact with Barber, he could be subject to a fine and/or suspension from Major League Baseball.
Bench coach Mike Aldrete replaced Matheny as acting manager. Jon Jay took Bourjos' spot in center and as the team's eighth-place hitter. Bourjos was not available for comment after the team's 5-2 win.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less