(Yahoo!) If there were any doubts about the chemistry problems in the Washington Nationals' clubhouse before Sunday, those issues were on display for the world to see when reliever Jonathan Papelbonwent after Bryce Harper in the dugout in the eighth inning after the two exchanged words.
Jonathan Papelbon attacking Bryce Harper? Jonathan Papelbon attacking Bryce Harper. pic.twitter.com/T2qof97Ymh— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) September 27, 2015
Papelbon began barking at Harper after he popped out, apparently because Harper didn't hustle to first base on a routine fly ball. When Harper made it back to the dugout, the two yelled at each other and Papelbon shoved Harper. They had to be separated by teammates.
Harper did not play in the field in the ninth inning.
Papelbon went into the game against his former Philadelphia teammates and produced one of the worst appearances in his career, giving up five runs, two of which were earned, to the Phillies in the top of the ninth in what was a 4-2 Washington lead. When he was taken out of the game, Washington fans booed him all the way to the dugout and then some.
Philadelphia went on to win 12-5, scoring eight runs in the ninth inning.
We should point out that aside from a couple of light pats on the back, there didn't seem to be many teammates supporting Papelbon in what had to be an embarrassing and difficult afternoon. This should only add to the calls for manager Matt Williams to be fired since many believe he lost his team weeks ago. The season can't end soon enough for this team.
The Nationals were eliminated from the postseason on Saturday.
Jonathan Papelbon booed loudly as he walks off the field at Nationals Park. pic.twitter.com/RaBpsSMKxd— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) September 27, 2015
Papelbon told reporters after the game that he was in the wrong for going after his teammate during the game. He apologized to Harper. Papelbon said he considers Harper a brother. Harper also did his best to sweep things under the rug.
Harper on Papelbon: "He apologized, so whatever. I really don’t care. … It’s like brothers fighting. That’s what happens."— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) September 27, 2015
Williams offered a much too simple explanation about the dust up when asked about it following the game blaming it on too much testosterone in a competitive situation.
Matt Williams on Papelbon possibly being suspended by Nationals for fight: "We haven't spoken about that yet."— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) September 27, 2015
PHOTO: Getty Images