Don’t blame it on the alcohol, blame it on the bean balls.
Two MLB bros find themselves a little lighter in the pocket after wild pitching led to a bench and bullpen clearing brawl during the contentious series between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets last week.
Cardinals’ pitcher Jack Flaherty and Mets pitcher Tijuan Walker were fined undisclosed amounts for their role in the melee that followed several hit batters. You can never knock a guy for taking up for his teammate, but both Walker and Flaherty are vital keys to their team’s success and coming off injuries. I don’t think their respective front offices want them out there mixing it up and risking reinjuring their golden arm. Their bread and butter.
Erratic pitching on both sides sent opposing players to first base with bruised bodies and egos Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
The Mets became frustrated during Tuesday night’s game after three players were hit by Cardinals pitchers. Things went far left on Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis thanks to wild Cardinals pitching and lingering tension from the incidents that occurred less than 24 hours earlier.
During their hump day matinee’ the Mets trailed the Cardinals 10-5 in the bottom of the 8th inning. Mets pitcher Yoan López, went high and tight with what was supposed to be a brush back pitch that almost made contact with Nolan Arenado’s helmet sending him to the dirt.
After a few choice words things escalated between first base and the mound and it got heated. Arenado was very demonstrative and had to be restrained.
Once they dropped gloves – MLB style – it was on from there. The bullpens and dugouts emptied onto the diamond in St. Louis. But in classic MLB fight card fashion, no real punches were thrown.
The Mets boast the best record in MLB as of Friday (14-6) and have been target practice at the plate for most of the young season. Understandably, the Mets were a little salty since their hitters had been drilled a league-high 18 times coming into the game. Pete Alonso even got beaned in the head on April 27th, which surely sparked all of subsequent bad blood.
They were hit several times in DC during their series with the Washington Nationals and apparently it was time to brush back. Lopez, a rookie, may have been answering the call after J.D. Davis was pelted earlier in the game prompting this retaliation code response.
“I don’t know if I would have thrown at his head but I would have hit him,” said former Mets pitcher and current TV analyst Ron Darling during the game broadcast.
We all know the Mets have a very old school manager in Buck Showalter, who understands the unwritten rules of the game as well as anybody.
This could make for a combative series when the Cardinals hit Queens for a four-game set starting May 16.