PHILADELPHIA — The Amazin’s may not be hitting much, but they’re getting hit plenty.
The Mets have been hit 156 times since the start of the 2019 season, the most in MLB over that stretch. This season, the Mets are third in hit by pitches per game, trailing only the Dodgers and Brewers.
“I’m not saying it’s intentional but if you look at the numbers, the Mets, our team, we’re the most hit team in baseball,” Dominic Smith said on Friday. “We’ve been hit by the Phillies a lot, whether we go back for years. This is not just something that just started occurring and something that we’re just crying about. We’ve been hit a lot, just look at the numbers.”
Mets players who have ranked in the top ten among players who get hit by a pitch the most in MLB include Michael Conforto (4 HBP in 2021 and 7 HBP in 2020), J.D. Davis (7 HBP, 2020), Pete Alonso (21 HBP, 2019), Jeff McNeil (21 HBP, 2019) and Brandon Nimmo (led MLB with 22 HBP in 2018).
Smith, after he watched McNeil get plunked by Jose Alvarado to lead off the eighth inning of the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Phillies on Friday, offered a theory behind the Mets’ attracting hit by pitches. It boils down to good hitters in the Mets lineup, Smith said.
“They got to do something to get us out of our game,” Smith said. “We’ve got a long lineup and these guys are really good. I feel like they’re trying to make good pitches, get in on us. Sometimes they flip and hit us.
“I’m not saying every hit by pitch is on purpose, no. A lot of them are obviously mistakes. But when you’re a good hitter, they have to try to pound inside and sometimes the ball just slips and you get hit.”
Though James McCann is new to the team, he’s talked with his teammates about the Mets getting hit a lot. The catcher said he was frustrated with Rhys Hoskins’ reaction after Miguel Castro pitched inside for ball four. Hoskins thought Castro was retaliating after Alvarado’s hysterics. But McCann said Castro couldn’t get a grip for the ball, which was evident by the four-pitch walk, and the Mets were not trying to put a runner on base down by one run in the eighth inning.
“I know as a catcher, you gotta be able to pitch in,” McCann said. “Obviously, there’s times where a ball will get away from a pitcher, but at the end of the day nobody wants to get hit, nobody likes to get hit. And when it happens over and over, the frustration is going to come out, tempers are going to flare and that’s part of the game. But we are aware.
“It’s not something that we take lightly.”
Mets manager Luis Rojas echoed Smith and McCann, in that hit by pitches can be part of a team’s pitching formula when facing a good hitting team. But, overall, the skipper looks at hit by pitches as more of a baseball custom.
“Hit by pitches are going to happen, we just happen to have a few that get hit more often,” Rojas said.
GUILLORME TAKING IT DAY BY DAY
Luis Guillorme felt a sharp pain in his right oblique after one swing in batting practice on Friday. He fell to the ground and grabbed his side before the hitting group realized he didn’t just slip; he was hurt. The Mets medical staff said it’s going to take a while for Guillorme to fully recover, so the team placed him on the 10-day injured list about an hour before Friday’s first pitch.
“I’m not happy about it,” Guillorme said.
The super-utility infielder is experiencing his first-career stint on the IL and said he had never before sustained an oblique injury. Guillorme said he found it difficult to even walk on Friday, but he felt better and went for a light jog on Saturday. He’s unsure if there will be an MRI exam in his future, and just hopes the injury recovery will be on the quicker side. Typically, oblique injuries can take weeks to heal.
“It’s going to be a tough adjustment for me just watching the guys go out there and do everything every day and me just sitting there watching or doing all the stuff they have me doing,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough adjustment but hopefully it’s a quick one.