On Opening Day, the Mets were hit by three pitches, two of which were high. Pete Alonso got beamed in the C-flap while James McCann was blasted in the shoulder. So, when Francisco Lindor got hit in the helmet when squaring up for a bunt in game two on Friday night, the benches cleared as the Mets stood behind their Skipper Buck Showalter who was fuming with rage.
National relief pitcher Steve Cishek was ejected for the errant throw that ultimately resulted in Lindor exiting the game.
“It shocked me because I don’t think I’ve ever hit a lefty in the face or the head before,” Cishek said, per the New York Post. “I put my head down and my first intention was to go over and see if he was OK. As I was doing that, I realized it was a bad idea because I just kind of fired up their bench a little bit.”
Cishek and third base coach Gary DiSarcina were both tossed from the game.
“There was no intent,” Cishek said. “I thought I was going to have a warning for sure, but to be ejected was a bit of a surprise.”
The pitcher went to check on the results of Lindor’s X-rays and saw him waiting. He shook his hand, apologized, and made sure he was OK.
“I told him, ‘Sorry for what happened. Obviously your teammates have your back and I respect that.’ He was cool with it. Really nice guy,” Cishek said.
Lindor’s X-rays on his jaw came back negative and he passed his concussion test.
Despite the brawl, the Mets were able to maintain a 4-3 lead and tack on a few to win 7-3 at Nationals Park.
The Nationals struck first when Yadiel Hernández hit a sac fly to bring home Josh Bell.
But the Mets quickly tied it up after Jeff McNeil hit a solo home run on his 30th birthday. It was the second year in a row he hit a home run on his birthday.
A two-run single by Robinson Canó put the Mets on top 3-1 in the top of the fourth, but a solo blast by Bell tied the game at 3 apiece after four.
The Mets added one more run for good measure in the top of the ninth when McNeil singled to right, bringing in Alonso.
As a team, the Mets were 5-14 with RISP.
Max Scherzer threw six innings, giving up three earned runs on three hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
The Mets (2-0) look to keep the bats hot against the Nationals (0-2) on Saturday night.
(Photo: Corey Sipkin/cropped)
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