LEADING OFF: Mets rest after melee, Whitlock starts again

A look at what’s happening around baseball Thursday:

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COOLING OFF

Boiling mad after a spate of plunkings this season, the New York Mets have a day off to recover.

A look at what’s happening around baseball Thursday:

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COOLING OFF

Boiling mad after a spate of plunkings this season, the New York Mets have a day off to recover.

The Mets have been drilled 19 times in 20 games this season, leading the league by a wide margin. Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt says bad baseballs are to blame. The actual problem is probably multifaceted, ranging from cold weather to bad luck. MLB-wide hit-by-pitch rates were actually down slightly heading into Wednesday’s games.

Their frustration spilled over Wednesday in St. Louis after third baseman J.D. Davis was hit by a pitch on the ankle and had to leave the game. An inning later, Mets pitcher Yoan López threw high and tight to Cardinals star Nolan Arenado, who reacted angrily, sparking a benches-clearing brawl.

Mets manager Buck Showalter denied after the game that New York felt the need to send a message about the hit-by-pitches and said López’s pitch wasn’t intentional. López could still be punished by MLB.

Showalter also said X-rays on Davis’ ankle were negative, but he’ll need further evaluation.

STARTING STRONG

Red Sox right-hander Garrett Whitlock tries to build on the success of his first major league start with an outing at Toronto.

A standout rookie reliever in 2021, Whitlock has stretched out to try his hand at starting this season and struck out seven over four shutout innings against Tampa Bay last week in his first turn in the rotation.

That earned him another look for Boston, which has manager Alex Cora back with the team after he missed six games because of COVID-19.

CHECK HIM

The Mariners are hoping for good news on left-hander Marco Gonzales, who was hit on his left wrist by a 109 mph line drive in the first inning at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The team said X-rays were pending.

The 30-year-old Gonzales entered the day 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA through three starts this season.

FROM NASSAU TO THE NL

A pair of childhood friends, Lucius Fox and Jazz Chisholm Jr., became the first pair of Bahamas-born players to appear in the same MLB game since 1961 on Wednesday.

Chisholm, a second baseman, led off for the Marlins against the Nationals, who started Fox at shortstop. Both players are 24 years old and from Nassau, Bahamas. The country has a population of about 400,000 and nine Bahamian-born players have played in the majors.

According to the Nationals, who cited the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other pair of Bahamians to play in the same game were Andre Rodgers and Tony Curry, who faced each other six times during the 1960 and 1961 seasons.

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