No pitcher likes getting the hook from their manager. You can bet that San Francisco Giants pitcher Zack Littell would fall under that category.
The left-handed Littell entered Monday night’s game in the eighth inning with the Giants leading the Atlanta Braves 3-0. Littell gave up a double, a walk, then two singles in a row, the second of which allowed two runs to score.
Littell faced one last batter, Braves third baseman Austin Riley, who grounded into a double play. At that point Giants manager Gabe Kapler journeyed out to the mound and replaced him with fellow lefty Scott Alexander.
When Kapler asked for the ball, Littell had a few words for his skipper.
I don’t think he sent his regards to Alexander. It was probably a more colorful way of telling Kapler that he was good for the last out, but at that point, it was clear that the Braves had his number.
Whatever it was, Kapler shot daggers at the 26-year-old pitcher. Then, once he was back in the dugout, he pulled Littell into the clubhouse for a man-to-man chat.
Tensions Seemed To Have Eased After The Game
Fortunately, for all parties involved, the Giants managed to seal a 3-2 win, which you have to think did something to ease tensions.
After the game, it seemed like the situation had been worked out.
“I think Zack wanted to stay in that game obviously,” Kapler said. “He’s a competitor and wanted to finish that inning. I think it was just his wanting me to know that he wanted to finish that inning. There’s obviously a way to do that. Zack knows that. We discussed it.
“He knows that when I come out to get the ball, he just needs to put the ball in my hand and we’ll talk about anything later.”
Kapler said he’s more than happy to talk with his players about how they enter and exit games, but there’s a certain decorum he expects when doing so.
“There’s a way to do that. I think Zack understands that.”
Well, I’m sure he does now.
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