The New York Mets have once again been involved in a bench-clearing incident, this time against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The first two games of the Mets-Cardinals series featured eight total hit batters, including three Mets hit batters on Tuesday. The situation carried over into Wednesday, when New York’s J.D. Davis was hit by a pitch on the ankle and forced to leave the game.
Mets pitcher Yoan Lopez threw up and in on Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado to open the next half inning. Arenado took exception, and the benches quickly cleared. No punches were thrown, but Cardinals coach Stubby Clapp tackled Pete Alonso at one point during the altercation.
Only Clapp and Arenado were ejected from the game.
The Mets have been involved in a lot of this since the start of the season. Mets hitters had been hit by pitches 18 times on the season coming into Wednesday’s game, leading the league by a significant margin. They have been involved in one bench-clearing incident previously, and if their batters keep getting hit this often, there may be more to come.
Notably, manager Buck Showalter has said he does not think the Mets are being targeted, but urged MLB to do something about pitchers struggling to grip the baseball.
A junior college baseball game in Texas was suspended on Wednesday after a pitcher tackled an opposing player who had just hit a home run off of him.
North Central Texas College’s Josh Phillips hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the sixth inning. As he was rounding third base, Weatherford College pitcher Owen Woodward sprinted toward him and violently speared him. The hit caused Phillips’ helmet to fly off his head. You can see the video below:
Umpires suspended the game, which was the first of a four-game series. Weatherford coach Jeff Lightfoot issued a statement addressing the incident.
“We are shocked and disappointed at what happened in our game today,” Lightfoot said, via ESPN’s Dave Wilson. “We do not condone this type of behavior. We have worked hard to build a program with the highest of standards. We are completely embarrassed by this incident, and we apologize to North Central Texas College and the fans of WC baseball. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated.”
It is unclear why Woodward was so irate. The video does not show what happened immediately after Phillips hit the home run or if words were exchanged.
Weatherford College said in a statement that the incident is being investigated by both the school and the school’s police department.
Don’t expect to see any major on-field altercations in Major League Baseball games in 2020.
MLB will look to maintain strict social distancing guidelines if and when games are played in 2020. That means anyone who gets into an on-field fight is going to face very strict discipline, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
MLB frowns on fighting at the best of times, and it would be even more irresponsible in this environment. The way it’s worded, Sherman hints that players could miss out on double-digit games. The fact that it will be a shortened season will only make it more significant.
If you want to know how serious MLB is about social distancing, check out some of these other rules the league is weighing.
The Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan has resumed play without fans in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but the lack of energy in the stadium didn’t stop emotions from boiling over during a game on Sunday.
In the 4th inning of a game between the Fubon Guardians and Rakuten Monkeys, the Monkeys took exception to a few pitches that were thrown inside on infielder Kuo Yen-Wen. Guardians pitcher Henry Sosa was either determined to hit Yen-Wen from the start or didn’t appreciate Rakuten raising a stink, so the right-hander then plunked Yen-Wen on the backside. Benches cleared and some shoves were exchanged.
The ironic thing is the stadium was empty as part of an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Players shoving one another and screaming in each other’s faces is the exact opposite of social distancing and taking precautions, but neither team seemed to care.
We’ve shown you a lot of baseball fights over the years, and that one was a pillow fight compared to many of them. However, it may be the most unique bench-clearing incident of all time in that it took place in an empty stadium during a pandemic.
A massive brawl broke out in a Venezuelan baseball league game on Wednesday night that was reminiscent of the infamous Juan Marichal-Johnny Roseboro fight.
In a game between Aguilas del Zulia and Caribes de Anzoategui on Wednesday, Caribes pitcher Angel Nesbitt threw behind Alex Romero on a 3-0 pitch with his team up 13-1. Romero responded by swinging his bat at catcher Gabriel Lino twice. Lino took off his glove and threw it at Romero, and by that point, both benches had cleared.
Here is the breakdown of the incident from internet favorite Jomboy:
The background to the fight is that the teams are in a playoff series and there were previous issues in the seventh inning. Aguilas threw at César Valera following home runs by two Caribes players, leading to a brawl.
10 people were ejected from the game, which Caribes won 13-2. Aguilas leads the series 3-2.
Josh Donaldson was involved in a minor scuffle with Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove last Monday. It was so minor, in fact, that you may not have even heard anything about it. Fortunately, the suspension Donaldson was hit with over the incident has been overturned.
Donaldson and Musgrove were ejected along with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle after a bunch of shouting and “what the f— are you looking at?” was tossed back and forth. The exchange came after Musgrove grazed Donaldson with an inside pitch, and the benches cleared over the Atlanta Braves infielder’s reaction.
It was a glorified shoving match, essentially, but Major League Baseball still felt Donaldson should be held accountable for sparking it. The veteran was hit with a one-game suspension, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that he won his appeal and the ban has been overturned.
If MLB simply had to do something, a $1,000 fine seems appropriate. Compared to some of the baseball fights we have seen in the past, that was basically a whole bunch of nothing.
Things got rather heated on Wednesday between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.
Royals pitcher Brad Keller hit White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson with a pitch during the game after Anderson extravagantly tossed his bat after a home run.
Keller’s pitch seemed like a fairly clear bit of retaliation for that action, and the benches immediately cleared. The Royals’ actions didn’t sit well with White Sox manager Rick Renteria, either, who squared up his Kansas City counterpart, Ned Yost.
The White Sox have good reason to be upset after this, and it will be interesting to see if they come down hard against Keller. The league has started to promote younger players doing things like Anderson did, and the Royals look pretty bad trying to police it.
The first brawl of the Major League Baseball season took place on Sunday, and Yasiel Puig was very much involved.
Things started after Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Archer threw behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich, who admired a home run he hit earlier in the game. The benches cleared, but it was generally a lot of milling around.
That was the case until Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig broke away from those restraining him and tried to seek out Archer.
Five players were ejected from the game — three Reds and two Pirates.
Puig has been involved in his fair share of skirmishes before. It will be interesting to see if any further league discipline comes his way for escalating the incident. It will also be intriguing to see if this is the end of it in Sunday’s game, as the incident took place fairly early on in the contest.
A fight broke out on Wednesday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers after a collision at the plate.
Matt Kemp was on second with two outs and was trying to score on a single to right. As he approached the plate, Robinson Chirinos was holding the ball in his way, so Kemp tried to knock him over. Kemp gave Chirinos a shove, and players from both sides came in to get involved.
Both Kemp and Chirinos were ejected from the game.
Based on the new rules, Kemp was wrong for initiating contact; Chirinos was holding the ball and therefore had a right to be in front of the plate.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox got in a bases-clearing brawl on Wednesday night after Tyler Austin charged the mound.
Austin was hit in the back by Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly in the top of the 7th and charged the mound. The two ended up on the ground with players running in from all over to pull them apart:
Sox fans loved the reaction from Kelly as Austin took some steps towards him. He was ready for the fight:
Both Austin and Kelly were ejected from the game.
The brawl between the Sox and Yankees comes the same day two National League teams got in a fight.