PHILADELPHIA – There’s no bad blood between Starlin Castro and Roberto Hernandez.
The Cubs shortstop didn’t understand why Hernandez got ejected from Friday night’s 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Castro smashed one Hernandez pitch over the left-center field wall for a two-run homer in the fourth inning – and then got drilled in the left arm with the first pitch he saw in the sixth.
“I don’t think he did it on purpose,” Castro said afterward. “He’s a good friend of mine. I know him (well). I see him every day in the Dominican.”
Home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger didn’t issue a warning and immediately tossed Hernandez. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg came out from the dugout to argue and also got ejected.
Crew chief Gary Cederstrom gave this explanation for the Hernandez ejection: “Intentionally throwing at the batter.”
A pool reporter followed up with: How do you know that? Can you read his mind?
“That’s our job,” Cederstrom said. “In our opinion, he threw at the hitter.”
Hernandez quickly apologized to Castro, who downplayed the entire incident and didn’t make it sound like this would be a lingering issue between the two teams this weekend in South Philly.
“I was surprised (he got ejected),” Castro said. “It was the same pitch as the homer. That one was away and this one ran in. He didn’t have control.
“He told me I’m sorry, but I already knew that. He’s not like that.”