The New York Mets have gotten hit by the most pitches in baseball by a large margin. Entering Wednesday’s game, the Mets had been hit 18 times in 19 games.
After Pete Alonso got hit in the helmet on Tuesday night, I tweeted a gif of Noah Syndergaard buzzing Alcides Escobar in the 2015 World Series and with the caption “It’s time for someone to do this again." In Wednesday’s game, after J.D. Davis left from being hit by a pitch on the ankle, Yoan Lopez delivered.
It’s about time a New York Mets pitcher stood up for the hitters. This needs to continue.
Let’s make one thing very clear right from the start: it is not okay to throw at someone intentionally, especially at the chest, neck, or head. What is okay is throwing inside, knocking a batter off the plate, and sending a message to other teams that if their pitchers don’t have the command to pitch inside, then they can’t pitch inside.
In other words, exactly what Lopez did to Nolan Arenado.
The fastball that Lopez threw was in, but not dangerously so. Message sent, danger avoided. Arenado took exception, and handled the situation very childishly. When Alonso got hit in the head, he got up and jogged to first without a word. Arenado didn’t even get hit - it wasn’t even particularly close - and he screamed, shoved Tomas Nido, and started a bench-clearing brawl.
This moment had been building all series. Mark Canha got hit on Monday night, and Alonso, Dom Smith, and Starling Marte got hit on Tuesday night. Tensions rose with each plunk, and Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt - the two veteran hitters on that team - should have known by the series finale that one of them would be getting buzzed. It was long overdue.
It took 19 Mets batters hit by pitches for a pitcher to send a message. That's too many.
The Mets have several pitchers that have the command to send a message without hurting anyone. Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Seth Lugo, and Drew Smith all have the ability to defend Mets hitters. Jacob deGrom does too of course, when he returns. If these guys can step up the way Yoan Lopez did, the Mets should see their hit by pitches decrease.