Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard was ejected from Saturday's game in the top of the third inning after throwing a pitch behind Utley. After home plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, Mets manager Terry Collins got involved, with MLB.com's Anthony DiComo setting the scene at Citi Field:
MLB.com relayed video of Syndergaard's pitch that led to his ejection:
Utley exacted his revenge in a big way, though. After the second baseman belted a solo home run to open the scoring, he launched a grand slam into right field to give the Dodgers a comfortable 6-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning.
Utley became the scourge of New York in the National League Division Series for this play in Game 2 against the Mets:
After the game, Syndergaard said he didn't intend to hit Utley, per Marc Carig of Newsday:
On Sunday, Syndergaard joked about his ejection, noting he could pitch in Sunday's series finale:
The umpires stood behind their determination, per Adam Rubin of ESPN:
Collins said he was arguing that no warning was given and "nothing happened, [the ball] went to the backstop," per John Chandler of NBC New York.
Utley gave his take on the sequence after the game, per Fox Sports:
Tejada suffered a broken leg on the 2015 NLDS play and missed the Mets' run to the World Series as a result. He was released by the team in the offseason and later signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
This situation is similar to the one that led to a bench-clearing brawl between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays two weeks ago. Tensions between those teams were high, stemming from Jose Bautista's bat flip in the American League Division Series (ALDS) last year.
Bautista was hit by a pitch and proceeded to slide hard into second base. Rangers infielder Rougned Odor took exception to it, which caused a massive fight between the two teams that led to Odor being suspended for seven games and Bautista sitting for one game.
The Mets-Dodgers situation didn't get that far, possibly because Utley wasn't hit by the pitch, but it seems there are still some bad feelings from how things played out last season.
While there may be an argument against tossing Syndergaard since he didn't hit Utley, MLB Network's Jon Heyman noted the right-hander didn't dispute what he was doing after getting ejected:
Syndergaard isn't a wild pitcher. He entered Saturday's game with just nine walks in 60.1 innings, so he can't use command and control as an excuse.
The Mets were able to send Utley their message without anyone getting hurt, though they had to play the rest of the game without their best pitcher. They can take some solace in the fact Logan Verrett struck out Utley later in the at-bat.