The St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets engaged in a benches-clearing scuffle in the eighth inning of St. Louis' 10-5 win on Wednesday after Yoan Lopez threw up and in to Nolan Arenado.
After the game, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol was not pleased with the pitch:
"I didn't love it. At all," he said of the pitch. "... I don't think anyone in the big leagues appreciates getting thrown up top. Nolan has every right to react the way he did and go after him, and we'll protect that."
Arenado told reporters after the game that he didn't like Lopez pitching him tight.
"I don't know how close it was. It just felt close. It was just high," he said. "I'm not saying he's trying to throw it up there. It's just the ball got away, but that's the problem with that stuff."
During the fracas, Cardinals first-base coach Stubby Clapp tackled Mets first baseman Pete Alonso. Marmol told reporters he was fine with that decision:
Alonso had his own take on the situation.
"It's something that started for no reason," he told reporters. "... I know it's a five-run ballgame, but we're trying to come back. To me, the whole thing didn't even make sense."
"I got pulled from behind," he added of being tackled. "Actually Genesis Cabrera grabbed me by the back of the collar and then he just ripped down, and then the coach just kinda jumped on me. I thought that was kinda cheap, going from behind. If you wanna hold me back, if you wanna restrain me, go at me like a man."
Mets manager Buck Showalter wasn't thrilled with the ordeal either:
Both Clapp and Arenado were ejected from the game after the confrontation. Lopez remained in the contest.
The Mets had been hit by 18 pitches coming into Wednesday's game and have been vocal about their frustrations, so Arenado and the Cardinals clearly felt like Lopez's buzzing pitch was a retaliatory message. In Tuesday's game between the teams, three Mets and two Cardinals were hit by pitches, including Alonso in the head.
Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), "Lopez was high-fived by several teammates when he returned to the dugout after the inning," perhaps backing up St. Louis' assumption that he purposefully went high on Arenado.