Benches cleared Friday night in Philadelphia when tempers flared between Phillies reliever José Alvarado and Mets outfielder Dominic Smith. Alvarado struck Smith out and turned his back to celebrate, but when he turned back around he was greeted to some yelling. Then the benches cleared. The footage:
Sunday, MLB issued a statement that Alvarado has been suspended for three games for "inciting" the incident:
Philadelphia Phillies reliever José Alvarado has received a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for inciting a benches-clearing incident following the top of the eighth inning of Friday night's home game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Michael Hill, Major League Baseball's Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations, made the announcement.
Smith and Mets reliever Miguel Castro -- who threw at Phillies' Rhys Hoskins after the dustup -- received undisclosed fines.
Alvarado, 25, is having a nice season for the Phillies, who enter Sunday tied for first place despite being under .500 at 13-14. He's pitched to a 1.13 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 13 strikeouts in eight innings pitched.
It's interesting here that Alvarado was suspended but Smith wasn't. Though Alvarado certainly contributed to the incident with his celebration that some would find excessive, nothing would have happened if no one on the Mets reacted. Phillies manager Joe Girardi said the league "felt he instigated, but that doesn't cause everyone to run out of the dugout." (via NBC Sports Philadelphia)
The Phillies and Mets will do battle again Sunday night. Given that Alvarado has appealed the suspension, he'll be available. Maybe we'll get to see an Alvarado vs. Smith rematch.