It’s kind of fitting Glenn Close sang the National Anthem tonight, because the Mets sure had a fatal attraction with Chase Utley.
After tonight’s performance with two homers – including a grand slam – after starter Noah Syndergaard was tossed for throwing behind the Dodgers’ second baseman, Utley is quickly moving up the list of most hated Met villains in history.
But take all his Dodger heroics out of the mix. Syndergaard was tossed by home plate umpire Adam Hamari, who never issued any warnings and the Mets ace never hit Utley or put the ball in the vicinity of his head.
“That was one of my arguments,” said manager Terry Collins, who was as incensed as anytime during his six-year tenure as manager, earning himself an ejection.
But let’s take this a little further, by tossing Syndergaard, Hamari essentially took the inside part of the plate away from the Met relievers, which allowed Utley to lean out over the plate and take them deep.
Simply put that changed the complexion of the game. The call umpires “Blue” and apparently Hamari was wearing Dodger Blue.
Now on one is saying if nothing happened the Mets would have won the game. They had three hits all night and were essentially playing with a five man lineup with Eric Campbell, Ty Kelly and Rene Rivera manning the second half. Syndergaard would have had to be close to perfect if the Mets were going to win this one.
But instead of giving the Mets a shot, Hamari took Syndergaard out of the game. Maybe he knew it was intentional. Maybe he overheard a conversation, but no one knows except Syndergaard if that purpose pitch was intentional.
After the game, Syndergaard denied the pitch was intentional, but he had seven innings to be coached on what to say to avoid a suspension.
On an ironic note before the game, Collins was saying how today’s players wouldn’t relate to the 1986 club. Tonight proves it.
Any Met fan worth his salt, knows the Utley situation would have been settled with an on the field brawl in 1986. Today, though, with so much money invested in these players, the league is very careful to have any of these extra-curricular activities going on.
A smart player like Utley knows this and he said to reporters in LA that he expected to be hit this weekend, making it clear the Mets had intentions.
Add to that Syndergaard, who pretty much took up the mantle as Mets enforcer after Game 3 of the World Series and you can see why Hamari did this, even though it was misguided in this case.
Look the Mets best hope that the only thing they lost tonight was this game. Both Collins and Syndergaard could be suspended for their actions. Collins had to be restrained by other umpires and bumped into them while arguing and if MLB deems this pitch intentional, they could sit the Mets pitcher for a start.
That one play overshadowed a great Mets night with almost all the members of the 1986 club in attendance.
It turned a night of glory into a fatal attraction.