Major League Baseball has decided not to suspend Stephen Strasburg and Manager Davey Johnson for their ejections or roles in Saturday’s Nationals-Braves game in Atlanta, according to a league spokesman. A day after Bryce Harper was hit twice by Braves pitchers, Strasburg hit outfielder Justin Upton in the hip with a first-pitch fastball in the first inning.
An inning later, Strasburg walked the leadoff batter and then fired three straight wild pitches at Andrelton Simmons, including two behind him. Because the benches had been warned after Upton was hit in the first inning, Strasburg and Johnson were ejected.
Strasburg declined to address hitting Upton and couldn’t explain his strange loss of command in the second, saying he lost all feel and couldn’t control his pitches.
“I’m glad that neither one of them got suspended,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “I think that’s the right decision.” Added Johnson: “I think that’s a great decision.”
According to league rules, a pitcher is fined a minumum of $200 for intentionally throwing at a batter. Each case is reviewed by league officials and further discipline is doled out on a case-by-case basis.Johnson said he hadn’t been informed of any fines for him or Strasburg.
Earlier in the day, MLB suspended Boston’s Ryan Dempster five games and an undisclosed sum for what the league called an intentional beaning of New York’s Alex Rodriguez on Sunday night. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi was also fined an unknown amount. Dempster denied hitting Rodriguez on purpose.