The Mets edged the Phillies at Citi Field on Saturday night (NYM 6, PHI 5), but arguably more compelling than the game was what unfolded between Philly starter Jake Arrieta and Mets third baseman Todd Frazier in the fifth inning. Have a look:
Words -- possibly adult words -- were exchanged! So that was a mid-80s changeup from Arrieta, and Frazier represented the potential tying run. That doesn't add up to malice aforethought on Arrieta's part. However, Frazier was also plunked in Friday's game against the Phillies, and overall he's been drilled by the Phillies three times this season. That on to top of the usual tensions of being employed by the 2019 Mets may have caused Frazier to come undone and, as you saw above, get ejected.
After the game, it was Arrieta who had apparently been undergoing a slow boil:
Jake Arrieta was frustrated. He hinted at a physical issue but would not elaborate. He was mad at Todd Frazier, too.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) July 7, 2019
“He can come see me,” he said. “I’ll put a dent in his skull.”
Normally, when a pitcher threatens to "put a dent in his skull" you would assume he's talking about drilling him with a fastball. However, since Arrieta's threat is prefaced by "He can some see me," perhaps he's talking about punching a dent in Frazier's skull after he comes and sees him (note: punching a human skull, especially with one's pitching hand, is not recommended). Perhaps playing a secondary role in his frustrations is that Arrieta stunk up the joint on Saturday: six runs on 11 hits in 4/13 innings against the Mets. For the season, Arrieta now has an ERA of 4.67 with anof 5.08.
In any event, these same two NL East rivals go at it again on Sunday.