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Both benches cleared during Friday night’s game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals after relief pitcher Steve Cishek hit Mets star Francisco Lindor in the face with a wild pitch during the fifth inning.
The 28-year-old shortstop squared up at the plate to bunt with an 0-1 count when Cishek threw an 89-mph fastball that hit Lindor in the face, knocking his helmet right off and sending him straight to the ground.
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A visibly frustrated Buck Showalter immediately walked out of the dugout — and the team followed.
Both teams crowded the field. Several Nationals players went over to check on Lindor who suffered a bloodied lip.
“I got hit. I was on the ground. I hear scuffles. I look up. My whole entire team is out there. Whole entire coaching staff is out there,” Lindor said after the game. “I could see the bullpen sprinting in. That says a lot.”
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Cishek was ejected from the game but crew chief Mark Carlson told a pool reporter that he was tossed not for hitting Lindor but because he “continued to escalate the situation after the fact” by “coming in towards the melee, basically.”
Cishek said he was surprised he connected with Lindor and went into the mass of players to check in on him.
When it hit him, it shocked me,” he said, via ESPN. “I don’t think I’ve ever hit a lefty in the face or in the head before. I kind of put my head down. My first intention was to go over there and see if he’s OK. When I was doing that, I realized it was a bad idea because I just kind of fired up the bench a little bit on the other side.”
“It was unintentional,” Cishek continued, “and I wish it never happened.”
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Showalter said it wasn’t about “intent” but rather control.
“I don’t really want to hear about ‘intent,’” he said, arms crossed. “If you’re throwing up in there, those things can happen. Max [Scherzer] didn’t have any trouble controlling the ball tonight.”
The Mets beat the Nationals 7-3, following a 5-1 victory on Thursday where three New York players were hit by a pitch.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.