Tensions are high in St. Louis between the Cardinals and Mets with one too many hit-by-pitches. The pitch that set this whole thing up in flames was a half inning prior that drilled Mets third baseman J.D. Davis in the left ankle that removed him from the game. Mets manager Buck Showalter being his old-school self sent a retaliation pitch high and tight on Cardinals superstar Nolan Arenado — that’s when the benches cleared. Watch:
The uptick in hit-by-pitches with slippery baseballs has turned into a Cardinals/Mets brawl
— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@GarysheffieldJr) April 27, 2022
We would say Arenado’s problem with the retaliation was that the pitch was at his head. Wasn’t too close, however that would be a fair reason to get this ticked off, we should add. But we’ve also seen Arenado rush the mound following waist-high pitches as well, like this one:
Nolan Arenado charges the mound after a pitch is thrown behind him. Benches clear in Colorado. pic.twitter.com/vKfMTNU5c1
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) April 11, 2018
Not picking on Arenado here, but didn’t he expect to be thrown at given what already transpired? Multiple players have already been hit and injured in the series combined with a perfect storm to do it with a 10-5 game that’s all but over?
To Nolan Arenado’s defense the baseballs are clearly becoming an issue league-wide. Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt threw six innings of shutout baseball last night and still complained he couldn’t grip the ball. “The amount that we’re getting hit (by pitches) is unbelievable,” Bassitt said postgame. “I had some close calls tonight but MLB has a very big problem with the baseballs. They’re bad. MLB doesn’t give a damn.”
Bassitt eventually goes on to suggest the grip is not only bad but inconsistent throughout his starts. And this could possibly be an explanation as to why J.D. Davis was struck in the top half of the eighth inning? Tonight happened to be the first time tensions boiled over and we’d assume this feud hasn’t died.
Hit-by-pitches and wild pitches are down overall in Major League Baseball, except the Mets are getting hit twice as often as the average team. An incredibly strange finding, but the league has to find a solution before this thing gets ugly.