Hundley's ejection marks another first

Hundley's ejection marks another first

SAN DIEGO -- It has been a season of firsts for Padres rookie catcher Nick Hundley. The backstop picked up his first Major League start and his first hit on July 4, and he stroked his first home run on July 26.

On Tuesday, Hundley had another first, albeit a dubious one: His first ejection. The Padres catcher was tossed in the eighth inning for arguing his strikeout with home-plate umpire Marty Foster.

"Nick is, from what we've seen, a very competitive and intense player in the heat of the battle," Padres manager Bud Black said, "which is a good thing."

Hundley's strikeout came with two outs and one runner on in the eighth inning, with the Padres trailing, 3-2. The pitch, from Los Angeles reliever Cory Wade, caught Hundley looking. Hundley then let Foster hear about it.

"Looking back on it, it's unfortunate I got ejected," Hundley said prior to Wednesday's game vs. the Dodgers at PETCO Park. "I probably should have said my peace and walked away or done it in a better way.

"But at the same time, if I disagree with it, I'm not going to sit back and just take it. It's a touchy situation. It was a big point of the game, a lot riding on it. Obviously, he thought it was a strike, and that's who it matters to. I didn't think it was a strike."

The strikeout hurt for a lot of reasons, Hundley said. He had two hits to that point in the game to raise his average to .236. He thought he was seeing the ball well.

"It would have been different if I wasn't seeing the ball well or wasn't comfortable," Hundley said. "I felt comfortable at the plate. It just didn't work out."

In hindsight, Hundley said he should have known better. He was aware of Foster's strike zone, having caught the Padres' pitchers up to that point.

"That's my fault," Hundley said. "I knew the zone he had that night. I didn't make the adjustment. That one is on me."

Hundley was replaced by fellow rookie Luke Carlin. Josh Bard got the start Wednesday as Hundley had started five of the previous six games.

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.