Major League Baseball hit New York Mets pitcher Yoan Lopez with a three-game suspension on Monday, ruling that he intentionally threw pitches at the Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber the previous night.
Mets manager Buck Showalter received a one-game suspension in connection with the incident, a punishment he was due to serve Monday night when New York opened a home series against the Atlanta Braves.
The suspension for Lopez is temporarily on hold because the Mets optioned the right-hander to Triple-A Syracuse after their 10-6 win over the Phillies on Sunday. Lopez would have to serve the suspension the next time he returns to the majors, unless he files an appeal.
In the eighth inning of the series finale between New York and Philadelphia, Phillies left-hander Cristopher Sanchez hit Francisco Lindor with a pitch, the major-league-high 20th time this season that a Mets player was plunked and the sixth vs. the Phillies.
In the ninth, Lopez twice threw inside pitches that didn’t hit Schwarber, who subsequently grounded out. Lopez plunked the next batter, Alec Bohm, with a changeup.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi said of Schwarber, “I think they were trying to hit him, but that’s part of the game. We didn’t try to hit Lindor. We didn’t try to hit anyone there. But I understand. You get hit a few times, you start to take exception. I think we hit them with some breaking balls at our park, but it wasn’t on purpose.”
As for the pitch that hit Bohm, Girardi said, “I don’t think that was on purpose, and that’s why I didn’t raise a stink.”
Lopez also was at the center of a full-on melee in St. Louis on April 26 after he threw up and in at Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado.
“He was keeping it down, so I don’t know,” Schwarber said of Lopez’s pitches, which didn’t hit him. “He could have been missing just down and in. It’s the same dude in St. Louis, but I’m not here to say he was trying to hit me. I’m not here to say he wasn’t trying to hit me. I don’t know. All I know is he got me out.”
Lopez received a fine for his role in the incident against the Cardinals, though teammates Lindor and Eduardo Escobar said they would pick up the tab for their lesser-paid colleague.
–Field Level Media