Stubby Clapp should be thankful Pete Alonso showed restraint.
Alonso was in the thick of the Mets-Cardinals bench-clearing incident, mere hours after he was plunked in the head. Clapp, the Cardinals’ first base coach, was ejected after he threw Alonso to the ground during the mild skirmish.
“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.”
Alonso was then informed Cardinals manager Oli Marmol had defended Clapp’s actions.
“I’m a big, strong guy,” Alonso said. “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.”
The Mets lost the getaway game, 10-5, but they were delivering winning quotes in the clubhouse. Manager Buck Showalter trolled Cardinals star Nolan Arenado for his reaction after Mets relieved Yoan Lopez brushed him back in the bottom of the eighth to spark the kerfuffle. Lopez went up and in on Arenado after JD Davis left the game in the top half of the frame after becoming the Mets’ 19th hit batter this season (X-rays on his foot were negative).
“I’ll let them handle their players,” Showalter said. “I know our player (Alonso) got hit in the head and went to first base.”
Showalter told reporters before the game the Mets contacted MLB with concerns about pitchers being unable to get sufficient grip on the baseball.
“It’s a concern,” he said. “It’s about safety and health. Trying to get your hands around why is important. It’s pretty obvious it’s an issue. We’re not talking about balls that are grazing people’s feet. We’re lucky. We’re very lucky that we’re sitting here, with the number of balls that have been at the head and the neck and the face, that we haven’t had some real serious injury.”