Jacob Rhame sails two pitches over Rhys Hoskins’ head, raising tensions
Tempers flared Tuesday night at Citi Field when Jacob Rhame sailed not one but two pitches over the head of Rhys Hoskins during the ninth inning of the New York Mets’ 9-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
With nobody on and two out in the Mets’ laugher, Rhame’s first pitch to Hoskins went well over and behind Hoskins’ head. Benches briefly cleared but no confrontations occurred, but it was clear that Hoskins and his Phillies teammates were upset over what played out.
pic.twitter.com/u0HGUMGGVi— SNY (@SNYtv) April 24, 2019
Six pitches later in Hoskins’ at-bat, another pitch from Rhames again sailed over the Phillies slugger’s head.
The two wild tosses came a game after the Phillies plunked Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil in a 5-1 loss. Despite a setting seemingly rife for exacting retribution, Rhames denied he was throwing at Hoskins.
Jacob Rhame on accidentally sailing a pitch over Rhys Hoskins's head in the 9th inning: pic.twitter.com/S1bDKW4B47— SNY (@SNYtv) April 24, 2019
“I’m just trying to work inside,” Rhame said, via SNY. “Historically I’ve left a lot of balls over the plate. Guys have been diving. I gotta try and get better at my game too.
“… When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary,” Rhame later added. “I’d get pissed too.”
Not surprisingly, Hoskins had a different take on what played out.
Rhys Hoskins on if Jacob Rhame was intentionally trying to hit him:— SNY (@SNYtv) April 24, 2019
"He didn't miss up and in or out and up to a lefty the rest of the inning…I'll let you decide" pic.twitter.com/O5Wkixz7hj
“[Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud] just said they were trying to go inside, and I laughed,” Hoskins said. “He didn’t miss up-and-in or out-and-up to a lefty the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide.”
Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler was not buying what Rhame was selling, either.
“It sure looked [intentional] to me,” Kapler said. “It damn sure did look like it.”
Throwing a baseball at someone’s head to send a statement is without question an unnecessarily dangerous game to play. Let’s hope Rhame’s pitches were simply a case of the ball getting away from him and not something more heinous.
Either way, let’s also hope the Phillies do not attempt to up the ante during Wednesday’s series finale. Unfortunately, what Kapler had to say Wednesday on the 94WIP Morning Show arguably sounded at least slightly ominous.
“I think that we have to get together as a group,” Kapler said. “We have to decide how to handle the situation. Those are matters that are handled internally, we don’t talk about those publicly. I know that it’s something that would be nice to kind of have out on a show like today, but not gonna happen. There’s no chance.”
The Phillies and Mets have plenty of games to play this season, and increasing the already palatable animosity and tension only increases the likelihood that an ugly situation could play out where a player could get seriously injured.