The New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals had some tense moments near the end of their Tuesday night game, especially when Pete Alonso was hit in the head with a pitch.
Alonso has been struck several times in the head this season, a feat that, despite his inside-leaning stance, is surprising for any player.
The Mets, like most teams in baseball, have seen a surprising uptick in hit-by-pitch numbers, in part because pitchers don’t have a good grip on the baseball.
“It’s extremely annoying to see your teammates constantly get hit, and if you get hit by certain pitches it is what it is, but to get hit in the head the amount that we’re getting hit is unbelievable,” Chris Bassitt said. “I had some close calls tonight, and I’ve been hit in the face [by a line drive] and I don’t want to do that to anybody ever, but MLB has a very big problem with the baseballs. They’re bad. Everyone in the league knows it. Every pitcher knows it. They’re bad.”
Mets: Chris Bassitt blames MLB, not Cardinals, for HBPs
Bassitt has a point in that the numbers are up across baseball. Pitchers can’t seem to get a good grip, and hitters are struggling in the power department. Scoring is down, as well, which impacts the entertainment value.
“They don’t care. MLB doesn’t give a damn about it. They don’t care. We’ve told them our problems with them, and they don’t care,” Bassitt continued.
Mets manager Buck Showalter backed Bassitt up, claiming that at this point, it’s an issue of player safety.
“It’s one thing to get hit in the toe or knee, but we’re getting a lot of balls in the head and the neck, and it’s just not good. Not good,” Showalter said. “You care about your players, and without getting into right and wrong and what have you, you reach a point where it’s about safety of your players.”
In the moment, both Showalter and the Mets appeared angry at the opposing dugout, and vice versa when Tommy Edman was plunked an inning earlier. But the sad truth is that neither team has much control over the baseball.