Benches clear in tension-filled Mets – Phillies game

New York Mets, Luis Rojas
Mar 24, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (right) laughs beside Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (left) before a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets – Philadelphia Phillies game on Friday night was full of tension. The Mets lost 2-1, and their offensive woes continued, but the story of the evening was the jawing session between Dominic Smith and pitcher Jose Alvarado, which prompted the dugouts to empty at one point.

The Mets were extremely frustrated after a tough week, and when Jose Alvarado struck Smith out to end a run-scoring threat in the eighth inning, he was very effusive and began jawing at the Mets’ slugger, who is mired in an ugly slump.

“I don’t mind people pimping strikeouts, pimping stuff on the field,” Smith said to “I’ve never been a player like that, but I don’t mind it. I love it. But him pointing at me, coming after me, stuff like that? I’m a grown-ass man. Come meet me then if you really got a problem, and we can really handle it. So that’s how I look at that issue. He waited for his team to grab him and stuff, but I’m right there. And he can meet me in the tunnel tomorrow if he really wants to get after it.”

The Mets and Phillies have some recent history

Of course, there is some history between Smith and Alvarado. After the latter hit Michael Conforto with a pitch on April 13, Smith had some words for him. He also hit Jeff McNeil last night.

“I don’t speak Spanish, so I can’t really interpret everything he said,” Smith said. “He was pointing at his head, he was pointing at me, he was pointing down the middle, he was saying stuff. Obviously, he felt some type of way because I yelled at him when he went up and in against Conforto and then hit Conforto. … Like their manager said, if you can’t throw strikes, you shouldn’t be in the big leagues. So I’m going to protect my guys. He’s throwing 100 out there. It’s not OK to just hit guys.”

Mets’ reliever Miguel Castro threw two very close pitches to Rhys Hoskins, which made tensions rise yet again. There is some bad blood between the two teams, and they are going to face each other a lot this year.

Stay tuned.