Oh, where to begin.
In another wild evening for the Mets, tensions ran high in the bottom of the fifth inning Saturday night, resulting in the ejections of Todd Frazier and Mickey Callaway by plate umpire Tripp Gibson.
Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta plunked Frazier with an up-and-in changeup, but Frazier didn’t jog to first quietly. Instead, he slammed his bat to the ground near home plate and mouthed off to Arrieta. Gibson and Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto escorted Frazier toward first base.
Gibson then warned both benches. He said he ejected Frazier when he left first base to continue arguing, which is an “ejectable offense.” Arrieta already had hit Pete Alonso with the second pitch of the game.
“I deemed the pitch by Arrieta unintentional, and then Frazier, on his way to first base, I got in between him and J.T. Realmuto,” Gibson said after the Mets’ 6-5 victory. “Basically, the way it all went down, the way the emotions were running, I decided I needed to issue warnings because it was unintentional, in my judgment.”
The benches didn’t clear, but the door to the Mets’ bullpen in right-centerfield opened, with players at the ready.
After the game, Arrieta was frustrated with Frazier and told reporters, “He can come see me. I’ll put a dent in his skull.”
When the game resumed, Dominic Smith, who restrained Frazier after he was ejected, doubled down the rightfield line to move pinch runner Adeiny Hechavarria to third base.
The next batter, Amed Rosario, also was hit by a changeup. Arrieta was not ejected, though, even after the warning — and that got Callaway fuming.
He stormed from the top step of the dugout and unleashed choice words toward Gibson, who wasted no time in ejecting him. Callaway stuck around a few minutes, likely arguing about the reasoning behind issuing a warning that wasn’t enforced not five minutes later.
“When I went out there, we had just got one of our players thrown out and then the guy hits a batter two batters later,” Callaway said. “ I felt like I needed to protect our players at that point.
“He didn’t think he was intentionally throwing at him, and I get that part,” said Callaway, who was tossed for the sixth time in his career and the fourth time this season. “But I mean, damn, we just got one of our guys thrown out because of the whole debacle. And their guy gets to stay in.”
With the bases loaded, Tomas Nido split the right-centerfield gap for a bases-clearing double that gave the Mets a 6-4 lead and chased Arrieta.
In the top of the seventh inning, Robert Gsellman hit Jean Segura with a 96-mph sinker on a 1-and-1 count. He was not ejected — Gibson said he deemed each hit-by-pitch during the game as unintentional — but he was replaced by Steven Matz with the lefty-swinging Bryce Harper coming to bat. Segura scored on Realmuto’s single.
In April, Jacob Rhame threw a pair of hard fastballs up near Rhys Hoskins’ head in the ninth inning of an eventual 9-0 Mets win, and the dugouts cleared. No brawl ensued, but both benches were warned.
The next night, Hoskins homered off Rhame in a 6-0 Phillies win and leisurely took his time rounding the bases. His 360-foot trip was clocked at 34.23 seconds, more of a home run crawl than a home run trot.
Perhaps the bad blood from the division rivals’ early encounter is still fresh for both teams. Both crew chief Brian Gorman and Gibson said they were cognizant of the past but focused on the present situation.
“You know the past, but we try to treat every day as a new day,” Gorman said. “If a situation arises, then we handle it.”
Said Gibson: “You let the game play out, and you have to react as necessary.”