February 3, 2023

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Marmol gets money's worth during first career ejection

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CHICAGO — When the iPad replay confirmed Oliver Marmol’s initial beliefs — that the strike three call to second baseman Tommy Edman was well wide of the plate in a key spot in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Cubs at Wrigley Field — the Cardinals’ rookie manager let his feelings be known.

That ultimately resulted in the usually calm manager’s first MLB ejection, and the 35-year-old Marmol made sure to get his money’s worth with a fiery tirade.

With Edman at the plate and facing a 3-2 count with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning, veteran umpire Bruce Dreckman called strike three — though video replays and pitch-tracking statistics showed the pitch from Chicago’s Scott Effross to be well off the plate.

Edman objected mildly following the third out, but Marmol’s vitriol didn’t come until two pitches into the bottom of the inning when there were two more disputed ball-strike calls that went against the Cardinals. At that point, Marmol flung the tablet over the dugout railing and onto the field and stormed out toward the plate. Then, Marmol proceeded to use his finger to draw a line in the dirt where he thought the ball crossed several inches off the plate.

“The pitch to Eddy was the tipping point,” Marmol said. “Bases loaded there, and that changed the game. We weren’t happy with it, I expressed my thoughts on the field and now we’re moving on.”

Edman, who homered earlier in the day, represented the tying run at the time of the strike three call. The Cubs would go on to defeat the Cardinals, 6-1, in the first game of the doubleheader.

“It’s a big moment there when a guy had worked the count and doing a really nice job of not leaving the [strike] zone,” Marmol said. “[Edman] does his job as a hitter to not swing at a pitch out of the zone and that’s all we can do.”

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