Weird, wild stuff is happening here in D.C. as we get ready to start the eighth inning of a 5-4 ballgame.
Rays reliever Joel Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals during the 2010 season, was ejected for having an “illegal substance” on or in his glove.
The ejection happened before Peralta threw a single pitch in the eighth inning.
All four umpires came out to the mound, as did the entire Rays infield and manager Joe Maddon. The umpires, including crew chief and home plate umpire Tim Tschida, examined Peralta’s glove, and one umpire confiscated it. He walked off the field with the glove, and after being informed he’d been ejected, Peralta followed shortly thereafter.
Peralta appeared to tip his cap towards the Nationals’ dugout on his way off the field.
You have to wonder if anyone who played with (or coached) Peralta while he was with the Nats knew about any illegal activity and blew the whistle on it before his appearance tonight. You also have to wonder if there will be any sort of action taken by the Rays over the next two games of this series as a way of scoring some payback against their opponents.
The Rays still lead 5-4 here late in this ballgame.
Update: The Rays asked the umpires to check Ryan Mattheus’ hat with the right-hander on the mound in the top of the ninth inning.
Mattheus checked out clean. Then the Rays won the game.
The Nationals just couldn’t overcome the initial 5-2 deficit that Chien-Ming Wang put them in, and they dropped the opener of this series 5-4. This is Washington’s fourth straight loss.
Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche were retired in order in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
For what it’s worth, Mattheus laughed off the fact that the Rays asked for the umpires to examine his hat, but appeared to shoot a bit of a glance into the visiting dugout as he came off the mound. We’ve got two games left in this series, and things could get really interesting.