Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman John Nogowski and New York Mets right-handed starter Marcus Stroman spurred a benches-clearing incident between the teams during the fifth inning of Friday night's contest.
Nogowski, playing in just his eighth game with the Pirates, seemingly took exception to Stroman's reaction following a lineout. Stroman, whose Mets were down by a 2-1 margin with a runner on third, lept in celebration after realizing first baseman Pete Alonso had made a clean grab to end the frame. Nogowski and Stroman then traded verbal barbs before the benches cleared.
Here's a look at the play in question:
Benches have cleared at the end of the 5th inning after John Nogowski & Marcus Stroman exchanged words. pic.twitter.com/ZDhqALUdjd— SNY (@SNYtv) July 17, 2021
And here's a closer look at the spat between Nogowski and Stroman. Do note that no punches appeared to be thrown, and no players were ejected:
More angles of what happened between John Nogowski & Marcus Stroman. pic.twitter.com/GCa6WazFWb— SNY (@SNYtv) July 17, 2021
The two continued to exchange pleasantries during the top of the sixth inning with Stroman stationed in the Mets dugout and Nogowski at his first-base position. At one point, Nogowski appeared to say, "I thought it was over."
Words have continued to be exchanged between Marcus Stroman in the dugout and John Nogowski at first base. pic.twitter.com/44YE2oiB81— SNY (@SNYtv) July 17, 2021
Stroman entered the night having accumulated a 2.75 ERA (142 ERA+) and a 3.32 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first 98 innings this season. His evening ended after that play, giving him a final line of five innings, eight hits, two runs (both earned), three strikeouts, and no walks.
Nogowski, for his part, has hit .326/.392/.370 (114 OPS+) in 51 trips to the plate between his stint with the Pirates and what he did earlier this season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He joined the Pirates in early July.
The Mets kicked off the second half with a 47-40 record on the season, good for first place in the National League East by 3 ½ games. The Pirates, meanwhile, were anchored to last place in the National League Central with a 34-56 mark on the season. Pittsburgh's record is the third worst in the majors, behind only the Baltimore Orioles and the Arizona Diamondbacks.