NEW YORK -- As Josh Harrison neared second base in the eighth inning Tuesday, he ducked into a slide, forcing Asdrubal Cabrera to hop over him as Cabrera attempted to turn a double play. Cabrera hunched over for a moment, then walked off any discomfort the last-minute twist might have caused. In the clubhouse later that night, he would say that he never considered it a dirty slide.
Cabrera's teammate, however, did. According to Harrison, Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia began screaming, "Play the game the right way!" at the Pirates infielder, who jawed back at him. Both benches and bullpens cleared, but no punches were thrown and no one was ejected as umpires quickly restored order in the Mets' 4-3, 10-inning win over the Pirates.
"If you go back and look at the footage," Harrison said, "I think I played the game the right way."
With two men on base and one out in the eighth, David Freese hit a ground ball to shortstop, where Jose Reyes fielded it and flipped to Cabrera. Harrison slid aggressively to try to break up the double play, and after the benches cleared, Cabrera found him in the melee, patting him on the chest to defuse the situation. The Mets considered calling for a replay review, but determined that Harrison had done nothing wrong. In the end, cooler heads prevailed.
"We checked the replay to see if we needed to challenge and if he slid through the bag, made too much contact, anything like that," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "Everything looked OK. I'm sure [Familia] was just in the heat of the moment and thought the guy maybe slid a little hard."
Familia left the ballpark without discussing the situation, and Cabrera reiterated after the game that he "didn't think it was a dirty slide." Though he was surprised at Familia's reaction, Cabrera said he enjoyed seeing the spark of emotion from his teammate.
Two innings after Familia escaped the eighth, Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off single to snap the Mets' seven-game losing streak.
"Maybe it was a good thing we cleared the benches," Callaway said. "We showed a little fight and fire."