APB is a glutamate analogue specific to the mGluR6 receptor of ON retinal bipolar cells. It is used in research into receptive field processing by blocking the ON channel. Why is it not called an antagonist?
APB (2-Amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid) is a metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist, not an antagonist, and in many publications it is indeed referred to as an agonist, so I think your question is somewhat ill-posed. For example:
Yamashita, M., & Wassle, H. (1991). Responses of rod bipolar cells isolated from the rat retina to the glutamate agonist 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (APB). Journal of Neuroscience, 11(8), 2372-2382.
You can find many many more by searching "2-Amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid glutamate" on Google Scholar.
The reason that APB suppresses ON bipolar cells is because metabotropic glutamate receptors are often inhibitory rather than excitatory. Glutamate is typically thought of as excitatory because ionotropic glutamate receptors such as AMPA and NMDA receptors are non-specific cation channels that depolarize and therefore excite cells. Metabotropic glutamate receptors operate through g-protein second messenger cascades. In ON bipolar cells in particular, there are cation channels that are closed by mGluR6 activation, which therefore inhibits them.
Here's a review article that describes this as well as other basic information about bipolar cell function: