The Mets completed their three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night, but it wasn’t without a little bit of intrigue.
In the seventh inning of the Mets’ 9-0 shutout of Arizona, rookie catcher Francisco Alvarez was hit by a Jose Ruiz pitch in the wrist. Alvarez shot a look at the pitcher before slowly walking to first base.
The home plate umpire immediately got in front of Alvarez to make sure he didn’t escalate anything, but the benches cleared. Cooler heads prevailed as both teams slowly went back to their corners before each side was given a warning.
“I didn’t say anything. I usually look up to see if the pitcher was looking back at me to see if it was on purpose,” Alvarez said after the game through the team interpreter. “But he never said anything to me as I was walking he came up to me and said, ‘my bad, my bad.’”
The scenario didn’t call for a “warning” pitch or a case of the Diamondbacks looking to make an example of Alvarez. When Alvarez was up, there was no one out and men on first and second base. However, the score was 9-0 already and the game was just about out of reach.
Alvarez has made Arizona pay in this series, hitting a homer in all three games including the game-tying shot in Wednesday’s game. The rookie, as he has been all season, was very animated rounding the bases after tying the game.
But do the Mets believe it was intentional?
“Oh I hope not,” manager Buck Showalter said after the game. “Alvy was trying to go to first base at a very slow pace. It hurts. He took a ball off the ear, a ball off the wrist. It’s not pleasant.”
Francisco Lindor, who had five hits in the win, said he didn’t believe the incident was intentional but said whether it was or not he will stick up for his teammate.
“No matter what, I got Alvarez’s back,” he said. “Whether it was right or wrong from either side he’s my teammate and I got his back no matter what.”
Alvarez offered an alternative method for teams looking to send him a message.
“At the end of the day I’m ready for whatever reaction they want,” he said. “If they did it on purpose, if they did it to make me feel bad, they should strike me out there.”