Walker Buehler was tossed late in Friday night’s game against the New York Mets after expressing his frustration with two of home plate umpire Nestor Ceja’s calls during a previous at-bat. The Dodgers hurler allowed an RBI infield single by first baseman Pete Alonso during a then 3-1 ball game. That ended up being the determining factor in the right-handed ace being lifted in the top of the eighth inning.
As he was walking towards the dugout, Buehler shouted towards Ceja for a few missed calls. That would include Alonso’s single, which Walker believed had hit his foot in the box and should’ve been called foul.
During the postgame presser, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Buehler both downplayed the ejection, citing the 27-year old fireballer’s competitive edge as the reason for his chirping towards the ump.
The Dodgers skipper chuckled as he said he hadn’t realized that his pitcher was even ejected at that time and lightly alluded to Buehler’s response in the heat of the moment.
“I didn’t realize until later that he got ejected,” Roberts said. “I was waiting for him to be on the bench so he was probably chirping a little too much.”
Buehler reiterated what his skipper said and conceded that the ejection may have been warranted given his response after being pulled from the game.
“Just trying to be competitive and thinking that I’m making pitches that I haven’t looked at but probably are balls,” Buehler said. “Just a little bit frustrating there at the end. He told me to stop and I didn’t stop so I get what he did. That’s his job.”
Buehler has played a tremendous role in the Dodgers winning 12 of their last 13 games, striking out a total of 18 batters and surrendering just three earned runs in that span.
Unphased by the Cy Young Award chatter, the dominant right-hander said his primary focus is winning ball games for a club that is now just 1.5 games out of first place in the NL West.
“It’s not something I really care about,” Buehler said when asked about the Cy Young race that is currently wide open. “I want us to win games and win the division and get to the playoffs and do what we did last year.”