The Cardinals manager may have gone a wee overboard in defending his star’s reaction to a brushback pitch during the Mets‘ 10-5 getaway game loss Wednesday in St. Louis. While Lopez went up and in on Arenado, his pitch did not appear anywhere close to hitting Arenado’s hit (unlike Pete Alonso’s beaning the other night). And Arenado’s subsequent freakout to spark a bench-clearing incident seemed a bit overzealous.
But not according to Marmol.
“I didn’t love it at all,” he told reporters after the game. “When you come up top like that and jeopardize someone’s career and life, yeah, I take exception to that. Nolan has every right to react the way he did and go after him. And we’ll protect that.”
Lopez went up and in on Arenado in the bottom of the eighth after JD Davis was hit in his foot in the top half of the frame and left the game, the 19th Mets hit batter this season. Initial X-rays on Davis’ foot were negative, but manager Buck Showalter said he does not know how serious his injury is.
Marmol also defended his first base coach, Stubby Clapp, dragging down Alonso from behind (Arenado and Clapp were the only people ejected after the skirmish). That prompted an epic response by Alonso.
“I got pulled from behind,” Alonso told reporters after the game. “Actually (Cardinals pitcher) Genesis Cabrera grabbed me by the back of the collar. Then he just kind of ripped down and the coach jumped on me. I thought that was kind of cheap, going from behind. If you want to hold me back, if you want to restrain me, go at me like a man.
“I’m a big, strong guy. They don’t know my temper, they don’t know what I can do. If I wanted to put someone in the hospital, I easily could. But I was just out there trying to protect my guys.”
Showalter also trolled Arenado after the game.
“I’ll let them handle their players,” he said when asked about the Cardinals’ reaction. “I know our player (Alonso) got hit in the head and went to first base.”