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A clunker at the arch, but the Mets make a huge statement on getaway day
The Mets finished their road trip to Phoenix and St. Louis 4-2. Plus, a look into the club’s scuffle on Wednesday afternoon.
What’s Up with the Mets? 🥊
The Mets dropped the final game of their three-game series against the Cardinals 10-5 at Busch Stadium on Wednesday (box)
The Mets and Cardinals were involved in a benches-clearing brawl in the eighth inning - JD Davis was hit in the foot in the top of the eighth by LHP Génesis Cabrera, marking the 19th time the Mets have been hit in 20 games. The Mets and RHP Yoan López responded in the bottom half with chin music to Nolan Arenando, at which point the skirmish ensued.
Davis is now in a walking boot, although x-rays on his foot were negative
Carlos Carrasco was ineffective on Wednesday, allowing eight runs over 3.2 IP
All five runs the Mets scored came with two outs
Francisco Lindor broke an 0-for-15 skid with an RBI double in the 7th inning
The Mets finished their road trip with a 4-2 record, and own the best record in the sport at 14-6
INF Luis Guillorme is 6-for-15 with two doubles over his last three games
OF Mark Canha has a four-game hitting streak with five hits and two walks during that span
C Tomás Nido has four RBI in his last four games
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets are off today. They come home to open a seven-game homestead beginning with a three-game series against the Phillies on Friday night at Citi Field.
19 beanballs? Statement time for the Mets 📝
It’s never a dull day with the Mets, is it?
This getaway day for the Mets got off to a rollicking start when the Mets got to former friend Steven Matz for four runs in the second inning thanks to more two-out magic - they netted two, two-run doubles from Tomás Nido and Brandon Nimmo, and the Mets seemed to be on their way to a sweep of the Cardinals, something they hadn’t accomplished in St. Louis in 15 years.
But then the wheels fell off the wagon, particularly for Carlos Carrasco who just didn’t have it from the beginning.
Carrasco allowed seven runs to be plated between the third and fourth innings, centering too many change-ups and breaking balls in the process. The Cardinals swooped in and took immediate control of this game and never really looked back.
From a scoring perspective anyway.
“It was one of those days,” Carrasco afterwards.
“Carlos has been throwing the ball well,” Mets manager Buck Showalter explained.” He’s healthy and he feels good, and today was one of those you just put behind you and move on to the next one.”
For lack of a better term, and from afar anyway, it was merely a clunker for the Mets, something which will happen a few times over the course of 162 games. It was getaway day, emotions had already swung up and down between their dramatic comeback win on Monday night and the multiple hit by pitches the night before. And with the quick turnaround, it could almost have been written down the Mets would’ve shown up flat Wednesday afternoon.
But they weren’t flat, even in the midst of a shelling from the Cardinals.
In the eighth inning with the Cardinals already up 10-5, LHP Genesis Cabrera came in with a fastball on JD Davis and hit him square in the left foot.
It was the 19th time the Mets had been hit by a pitch in 20 games in 2022. And that 19th hit-by-pitch was a breaking point for the Mets.
To be fair, it couldn’t have been a better time for the Mets to take action. They were down by five late and they had already won the series against a quality Cardinal club, so they took what was generally a situation where they had nothing to lose to make a statement against one of the best players in baseball.
In the very next half inning, Mets reliever Yoan López came up and in on Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado with a little chin music (one of the best baseball phrases on the planet, by the way).
That’s when the Mets got the engine in this clunker going.
Arenado began to bait López, appearing to yell at him from the plate to come at him in some fashion. Both benches and bullpens cleared and there was quite a bit of electricity in front of the plate. There was some pushing, some shoving, a lot of yelling and finger pointing, and Cardinals first base coach Stubby Clapp jumped Pete Alonso from behind.
Jumping Alonso is never a good move. He is probably on the list of the top five people shouldn’t mess with in baseball.
“If you want to hold me back, if you want to restrain me, go at me like a man,” Alonso said afterwards. “I totally understand because I am a big strong guy and obviously the manager wants to have protection for his team and his staff and I totally get it, and I am a big strong guy. They don’t know my temper and what I can do. If I wanted to put somebody in the hospital, I easily could, but I was just out there trying to protect my guys.”
Arenado seemed to insist he knew what was coming after the game, but Alonso couldn’t understand the reaction given the circumstances and the likelihood of the Mets coming up and in on him.
“What happened today didn’t even make sense, the pitch wasn’t even close and it’s something that started for no reason. It wasn’t even close,” Alonso said.
It was a fascinating moment for Alonso, who typically never lets a single thing bother him, is always upbeat, looking forward and not behind, and is able to transform negativity into a positive experience.
But on this day, the polar bear let off a loud roar.
Alonso was absolutely in the right to feel the way he did and say the things he said even if it ends up ruffling the Cardinals feathers. After all, less than 24 hours before this brawl Alonso had been clipped in the head with a fastball that broke his helmet, and then he got jumped after another teammate got clipped by a fastball.
Good for Alonso, and that’s a hell of a job stepping up as a leading voice on this matter for the club.
Then there’s López who deserves a lot of credit too.
López was only recalled from Triple-A Syracuse last week and there he was, fearless against one of the game’s elite coming up and in to send this necessary message and stick up for his teammates.
It took a lot of guts, for sure.
The Mets are only lucky these incidents haven’t resulted in significant injury, especially Alonso who has been hit twice in his head. It’s a part of the game of course and pitching inside has become a lost art in baseball, but not to this degree. It’s not that it’s unfair or unjust - it’s flat out dangerous in these cases and neither the league nor the team need major injury or trauma to result from these incidents. There is a valid argument that teams are valuing velocity over control, and while velocity is sexy and tantalizing, untamed it can be a violent animal.
And right now, all across baseball it remains an untamed beast with very sharp teeth. Just ask Kevin Pillar, who took one to the face last year in Atlanta.
Of course, what started out as wildness in this series ended up in a game of beanball between two competitive clubs.
The Mets found the right moment for their message to be sent not just to the Cardinals, but to the rest of the league.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Francisco Alvarez (C, No. 1 prospect, AA): 2-for-6, BB, RBI in doubleheader
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 6 prospect Single-A): 1-for-4, RBI
Around the League 🚩
Shohei Ohtani allowed two runs over five innings but also recorded three hits at the plate in the Angels 9-5 win over the Guardians
The Diamondbacks came away with a series win over the Dodgers at Chase Field this week
Pirates SS Kevin Newman will be out 3-5 weeks with a groin strain
Orioles LHP John Means underwent Tommy John Surgery this week