Steve Cishek Apologizes For Hitting Mets’ Francisco Lindor

Bestinau got that-

WASHINGTON — The Nationals are sorry.

Not much apology or finger-pointing came out of the house clubhouse Friday night after relief pitcher Steve Cishek hit Francisco Lindor with a pitch near the face, causing an incident clearing benches and bullpens. Twice in the first two games, a Mets star has been hit near the face. Pete Alonso was knocked down on Thursday by a pitch that bounced off his shoulder and left his mouth bloodied.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez admitted “I’d be pissed” if it were the other way around.

“They’re pissed off and I understand that,” Martinez added. “Both times it was unintentional – super unintentional. But it did happen, so I don’t feel bad about what they did. I went out to protect our players.”

Cishek and Nationals third base coach Gary DiSarcina were ejected. Lindor also left the game – a 7-3 win for the Mets – but X-rays and a concussion test came back negative. The field was designed to go up and in, as Lindor had bunted.

Steve Cishek (left) is stopped by Keibert Ruiz after hitting Francisco Lindor, leading to a scuffle at the Mets and Nationals.
Corey Sipkin

“It shocked me because I don’t think I’ve ever punched a lefty in the face or on the head before,” Cishek said. “I put my head down and my first intention was to go up to him and see if he was okay. As I did, I realized it was a bad idea because I brightened up their couch a bit.”

Cishek later walked into the medical room to check the results of Lindor’s X-rays. He actually found Lindor waiting.

“I shook his hand and apologized and made sure he was okay. He said he did,” Cishek said. “I said to him, ‘I’m sorry for what happened. Obviously your teammates are behind you and I respect that.’ He was cool with it. Really nice guy.”

Cishek was evicted for his role as an aggressor in the skirmish (as was DiSarcina) and not for the field, umpires later confirmed.

“There was no intent,” Cishek said. “I thought I would definitely get a warning, but it was a bit of a surprise to be kicked out.”

Steve Cishek reacts after being ejected for knocking down Francisco Lindor in the Mets' 7-3 victory.
Steve Cishek reacts after being ejected for knocking down Francisco Lindor in the Mets’ 7-3 victory.

Mets third base coach Joey Cora appeared to be heading straight for Cishek as the dugout emptied, with Lindor face down in the sand. Cishek continued to hear members of the Mets count how many hitters there were (four) to start the season.

“I just said, ‘If you think I hit him on purpose, you’re crazy. I didn’t,’ said Cishek. “Unfortunately, I tried to defend my own integrity, but also that of my teammates because a lot was said.

“Honestly, it wasn’t the right time to do it after they punched their best player in the face. I wish I had kept my mouth shut and worn it. … Even if it was an apology, it wasn’t necessary. They just had to support their teammate there. I understand that.”

Easier said than done.

“I see Pete Alonso – a big guy – come out of the corner of my eye and say things,” Cishek said. “My first intention is to defend myself.”

Martinez said pitcher Mason Thompson apologized before the game Friday for hitting Alonso on Thursday.

“It sucks,” Martinez said. “You never want to see anyone in your head. I don’t know what’s going on. I have two [pitchers] who are quite angry about it.”

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