Mets-Phillies game heats up on high fastball
PHILADELPHIA -- Edubray Ramos seems to have a long memory. It certainly stirred up the Mets-Phillies rivalry on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Ramos threw a 96-mph fastball over Asdrubal Cabrera's head in the eighth inning in New York's 4-3 win over Philadelphia. He claimed the pitch got away from him and insisted it had nothing to do with the way Cabrera emphatically flipped his bat after he hit an 11th-inning walk-off home run against him on Sept. 22, 2016, at Citi Field, although Ramos said the celebration bothered him "a little" at the time.
"I didn't try to hit him," Ramos said through the Phillies' interpreter.
"I didn't even know that was the same guy I hit the walk-off [against] last year," Cabrera said.
When did Cabrera find out?
"After the game," Cabrera said. "I just found out now."
Cabrera ducked as the pitch sailed over his head, then asked Ramos what the heck he was doing. Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp popped up behind home plate and got between Cabrera and the mound.
"Don't do it, don't do it," Rupp told Cabrera.
Rupp is 6-foot-2, 260 pounds. Cabrera is 6-foot, 205 pounds.
"I wasn't going to let him go out there," Rupp said. "I'm not letting anybody get out there. They have to get through me. Good luck. … He was upset. He had every right to be. Nobody wants a ball going at their head."
Home-plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both benches, which brought Phillies manager Pete Mackanin onto the field to discuss it before being ejected.
"I just didn't like the fact I got a warning," Mackanin said.
Afterward, Mackanin expressed his frustration with Ramos.
"If he did in fact do that intentionally for whatever reason, we don't play that way," Mackanin said. "I don't play that way. It's inappropriate, especially in a tie game in the eighth inning."
The Mets made the Phillies pay. Ramos walked Cabrera on five pitches and two batters later Jay Bruce crushed a two-run homer off left-hander Joely Rodriguez into the second deck in right to hand New York the lead.
"Of course it's going to fire them up," Rupp said.
Rupp and Mackanin both said they hope the incident does not carry into future games.
"It needs to go away," Rupp said. "It's in the past now. It's over with. The situation is done."
Added Mackanin: "We play these guys 18 more times. That's the last thing we need on our plate."
But bat flips aren't going anywhere. The Phillies have one of the best in Odubel Herrera, who doesn't need a walk-off homer to launch his bat into the air.
"It was a walk-off homer," Rupp said about Cabrera's Sept. 22 blast. "You celebrate."
"I just enjoyed that homer," Cabrera said. "If you want to hit somebody, you've got to make sure to throw the ball down, not to the head."
Bruce didn't flip his bat. He simply dropped it to the ground and circled the bases on his go-ahead blast.