WASHINGTON — Benches cleared during the New York Mets–Washington Nationals game Friday night after Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor was hit in the batting helmet with a pitch, the second such incident in the season’s first two days.
As Lindor lay face down in the batter’s box, Mets manager Buck Showalter stormed out of the dugout, livid a day after first baseman Pete Alonso was left bleeding on a high-and-tight pitch. As Showalter yelled toward Nationals pitcher Steve Cishek, players and staff streamed out of the dugouts and bullpens before umpires separated them. No punches were thrown.
Lindor, who was hit by an 88-mph sinker on the C-flap portion of his helmet meant to protect players from severe injury on hit-by-pitches, stood up quickly but later left the game. Cishek was ejected.
Follow the Opening Day game in which three Mets players were hit by pitches, Showalter said, “I’m not happy about it,” though he added before Friday’s game he didn’t expect any lingering effects.
That changed in the top of the fifth, when Lindor squared to bunt and Cishek yanked his second pitch after coming into the game to replace Nationals starter Josiah Gray. Lindor, the franchise shortstop who signed a $341 million deal with the Mets last season, fell to the ground and writhed as an on-field microphone picked up a voice saying, “Oh my god.”
Cishek’s surprise at his ejection was clear. He pleaded with umpires, saying: “He squared to bunt. … What do you want me to do about that?”