The Friday night contest between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals was supposed to be notable because it marked Max Scherzer's first start with his new club. That remained true, but some people will recall the game for the benches-clearing incident that occurred during the top of the fifth inning.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor was at the plate with a 4-3 Mets lead and a runner on second when he squared around to bunt. Nationals reliever Steve Cishek delivered his offering, an 89-mph fastball, that missed high and tight and appeared to strike Lindor in the C-flap of his helmet. While Lindor remained on the ground, his teammates and manager Buck Showalter took the field and barked at Cishek.
Here's a look at the scene:
Lindor would eventually leave the game. X-rays on his jaw were negative and he passed concussion testing, according to ESPN. Lindor did indicate he may have suffered a chipped tooth. Cishek, for his part, reached out and apologized to Lindor.
The umpires, meanwhile, ejected Cishek, prompting the Nationals to turn to left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle. Nationals third base coach Gary DiSarcina was also tossed after the brouhaha.
It's worth noting that Lindor was the fourth Mets batter to be hit by pitch in the series already. First baseman Pete Alonso was also nearly hit in the facial area as part of Thursday night's game. Showalter, for his part, had spoken on pitchers having poor command earlier in the day. "It's dangerous," he told Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. "If [the pitcher] doesn't have command, you can't let him pitch in there, or you can't let him make your club."
Lindor is in the early stages of his second season in New York. He's attempting to perform better than he did in year one, when he batted .230/.322/.412 (101 OPS+) with 20 home runs after coming over as part of an offseason trade with the Cleveland Guardians.