NEW YORK (AP)Mets manager Buck Showalter was suspended for Monday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves after Major League Baseball determined New York reliever Yoan Lopez intentionally threw at Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber the previous night.
Lopez, optioned to Triple-A Syracuse following Sunday night’s victory, received a three-game ban that starts whenever he returns to the active big league roster. If he appeals, the penalty would be delayed until the process is completed.
Michael Hill, baseball’s Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations, announced the discipline about 20 minutes before the first pitch of New York’s 5-2 loss to World Series champion Atlanta at Citi Field – the initial meeting this season between the NL East rivals.
”We were surprised, I can tell you that,” Mets bench coach Glenn Sherlock said. ”It was close to game time, but like I said, that’s baseball and that’s really not our decision. Just have to deal with it.”
Sherlock filled in for Showalter, with help from pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and hitting coach Eric Chavez.
”We talk a lot throughout the game,” Sherlock said. ”The coaches, we’re all kind of collaborating out there.”
In his first season with the team, Showalter had guided the Mets to a 16-7 record – best in the National League – heading into Monday night. He also missed a game last month for a medical procedure.
Showalter was suspended for one game and fined. Lopez also was fined an undisclosed amount by the commissioner’s office ”for intentionally throwing pitches” at Schwarber in the ninth inning of New York’s 10-6 win Sunday night.
Mets star Francisco Lindor had been hit in the thigh by a 93 mph pitch from Phillies reliever Cristopher Sanchez in the eighth. The next inning, an inside pitch from Lopez to Schwarber prompted umpires to warn both teams.
Schwarber eventually grounded out. Lopez then plunked Alec Bohm with a 1-2 changeup, but was not ejected.
Lopez also wound up at the center of a dustup during his Mets debut last week in St. Louis when he threw high and tight to Cardinals star Nolan Arenado after New York infielder J.D. Davis was drilled by a pitch in the ankle.
The benches and bullpens cleared for a rough skirmish on the field, but Lopez was merely fined that time ”for contributing to the incitement of the incident.” Arenado was handed a two-game suspension and fined, and Cardinals pitcher Genesis Cabrera was given a one-game suspension and fined for their actions in the scuffle.
Mets batters have been hit by pitches a major league-leading 21 times this season (including one Monday night), drawing the ire of Showalter and several players.
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