Home News J.T. Realmuto’s cycle overshadowed by Torey Lovullo freak-out

J.T. Realmuto’s cycle overshadowed by Torey Lovullo freak-out

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It’s not often that a player hitting for the cycle in a baseball game becomes a secondary headline, but that’s what happened in the Phillies’ game against the Diamondbacks on Monday night.

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto logged the rare feat during Philadelphia’s 9-8 loss to Arizona, but was also at the center of a dramatic incident in the third inning, when both benches cleared and Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ejected from the game.

Corbin Carroll, Arizona’s Rookie of the Year front-runner who had just been named NL Player of the Week, was hit by a pitch for the second time in as many plate appearances in the top of the third inning, which sent Lovullo charging out of the dugout.

He then confronted Realmuto, who was behind the plate, and started screaming at the catcher, as Realmuto argued back that Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm was simply trying to keep the ball inside.

Lovullo kept unleashing on Realmuto, at which point home plate umpire Vic Carapazza swiftly ejected him from the game.

But Lovullo continued to scream in the catcher’s face, which the Phillies were not thrilled with.

Manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks yells at J.T. Realmuto
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At that moment, both benches cleared, with the umpires needing several minutes to calm both sides down.

After the game, Lovullo admitted he was caught up in the heat of the moment.

“I have the utmost respect for J.T. Realmuto,’’ Lovullo said. “He’s a tremendous catcher. He’s a tremendous player in this league. I know what it looked like down from my level. This was me protecting our player and him protecting his pitcher. It was just a disagreement.

“I don’t want to talk about it. I knew going out there I had no right to go out there.’’

Realmuto, for his part, seemed to think the situation was overblown and insisted the Phillies weren’t trying to bean Carroll.

Torey Lovullo argues with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza
Torey Lovullo argues with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza
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“It looked a lot worse on video than it actually was,” Realmuto said. “[Lovullo] wasn’t challenging me at all. He was backing his player. At one point, he was saying, ‘I will do the same thing for you. If you’re on my team, I back you up.’

“It was not on purpose. We’re trying to get him out. That’s all that’s happening here. We have no history with him. There’s no reason for us to throw at him. We’re trying to win a baseball game. It’s unfortunate he got hit the first time, but it wasn’t going to change how we pitched him the second time.

“…It definitely affected the rest of Strahm’s outing, because you don’t want to hit anybody. You don’t want Strahm getting tossed, and getting suspended. So, he had to pitch a little differently.”

The Diamondbacks ended up rallying from a 5-1 deficit to win, 9-8.

JT Realmuto reacts after hitting for the cycle
J.T. Realmuto reacts after hitting for the cycle
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Realmuto, who homered in the second and hit a two-run triple in the third, completed the cycle with a ninth-inning double – but it wasn’t enough to get the Phillies the win.

“It kind of sucks honesty, obviously doing it is a cool accomplishment,” Realmuto said. “But it’s tough because we lost.”

He is the 17th catcher in history to hit for the cycle.

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