As far as revenge pitching goes, the Chase Utley situation turned out to be almost as anticlimactic as the Roger Clemens one that started more than 15 years ago. At least we didn't have to wait as long for this one.
In the third inning of tonight's Dodgers vs. Mets game, Noah Syndergaard threw a fastball behind Los Angeles batter Utley and was immediately ejected from the game by home plate umpire Adam Hamari. The action was clearly retaliation for the late slide by Utley that sidelined Ruben Tejada during last year's National League Division Series. The collision that Utley caused broke Tejada's leg, while Syndergaard was merely trying to give Utley a bruised midsection.
It didn't matter, as Syndergaard's pitch was reckless enough to warrant ejection. That's clearly not the result that manager Terry Collins expected, as he rushed out to protest the move before being ejected from the game himself. In this situation, there's no decision by the umpires that is going to satisfy everyone. Hamari couldn't do nothing when the purpose of the pitch was so pronounced. If he warned the benches, then the Dodgers are upset because he essentially gave Syndergaard a free shot at Utley. Throw out Syndergaard and try to squash everything and you just affected the game in a major way; something that no umpire wants to do.
Whether you like the result or not (probably not), it's hard to argue that the Mets could have handled the situation better. This is the fifth game the Mets have played against the Dodgers in 2016. Why have your best pitcher throw at Utley so early in a tie game? Collins had to know there was a chance that his star hurler would be thrown out. When the gamble didn't pay off, he got mad.
Following the fateful pitch, Logan Verrett came into the game and struck out both Utley and Corey Seager to put the inning to bed.