ST. LOUIS — By now everyone has probably heard about the spat in the dugout between Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee and centerfielder Shane Victorino.
In the top of the 5th inning, both Victorino and Lee were seen having a heated discussion in the dugout [video] a half-inning after Victorino lost a fly ball off the bat of David Freese in the lights at Busch Stadium last night.
After the ball bounced off the centerfield wall, Victorino watch the ball bounce towards the infield to let leftfielder Juan Pierre play it and throw it back into the field of play. Freese wound up on 3rd with a triple and proceeded to score on the next play to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
Lee, who has yet to record a winning decision on the season, was obviously frustrated to see poor defense let another one of his leads slip away and took his frustrations out on Victorino’s apparent lazy play in the outfield.
Neither player wanted to discuss the incident. “It’s going to stay between us… I’m not going to talk about it,” Lee said. Victorino shooed CSN writer Jim Salisbury away before he could ask the question.
Lee followed up: “It happens. Obviously when you have two in one inning, it’s tough to see out there. You don’t’ see that very often but it was kind of a flukey inning. Fortunately we were able to overcome it and win the game.”
Victorino has always been known to be a bit of a hothead. Twice he was the center of on-field altercations between the Phillies and Dodgers and Giants in 2009 and 2011 respectively as well as get thrown out from centerfield by the home plate umpire in a game.
Hopefully the little problem between the two was settled in a staring contest (which Lee presumably won because Victorino can’t sit still for more than two seconds).
The Phillies will get back to business tonight, hoping to stretch their winning streak to four games. Kyle Kendrick (0-4, 5.23) will take on Jaime Garcia (3-2, 3.55).
UPDATE: All is well between the two All-Stars.
Victorino confirmed that the argument was over Victorino losing the ball in the twilight out in St. Louis. Even Hunter Pence said visibility was bad for a short time.
“That’s what we talked about,” Victorino said. “It’s the competitive state of the game. You never want to see that. Looking at it from a positive side, it shows we both want to win. Beyond that, it’s nothing. You move on. I have no hard feelings. Emotions are flying high and sometimes you let it get to you.
“To me, it’s nothing. It’s part of the game. I’ve seen it with multiple teams. At the end of the day, we’re going to go out there as teammates and competitors and go out there and protect each other and win ballgames together.”