ST. LOUIS — A bubbling conflict at Busch Stadium finally boiled over on Wednesday afternoon as the benches cleared between the Cardinals and Mets.
A high and inside pitch to Nolan Arenado from reliever Yoan Lopez in the eighth inning prompted Arenado to voice his displeasure. A back and forth between Arenado and Lopez then turned into Arenado clearing catcher Tomas Nido from the area and the benches and bullpens emptying.
Arenado and first base coach Stubby Clapp were ejected from the game. Clapp was seen restraining Mets first baseman Pete Alonso as the two teams converged on the field.
"I watched it several times before I came in here. He's keeping their guy from getting on one of ours. So I'm completely ok with it," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said of Clapp's ejection.
The benches-clearing incident stemmed from two days of hit-batsmen between the Cardinals and Mets, and it was a fight many saw coming.
"I think my 4-year-old had an inkling that was coming," Marmol said after the game.
"I thought so. I knew it was coming," Arenado said about the high pitch.
Arenado said where the pitch was, high near his head, is what he took issue with.
"That's the problem. I get it. I get what's going on this series. It's part of the game... But it just felt close. It was high," Arenado said.
Marmol said he had a problem with the location of the pitch as well.
"I do entirely. When you come up top like that and jeopardize someone's career and life... I take exception to that. I don't think anyone in the big leagues appreciates getting thrown up top. Nolan has every right to react the way he did and go after him, and we'll protect that."
Alonso, Dominic Smith and Starling Marte were hit by pitches for the Mets in Tuesday night's game. Alonso was hit in the head by a wayward breaking ball, and Marte was hit with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
The Cardinals saw Brendan Donovan and Tommy Edman get hit on Tuesday.
The teams exchanged some shouts from the dugouts after the hit-by-pitches on Tuesday.
In Wednesday's game, J.D. Davis was hit for the Mets, and Edmundo Sosa was hit for the Cardinals.
Seemingly in response to the hit batters, the Mets threw high and tight on Arenado in the eighth, which prompted his reaction and the ensuing benches-clearing incident.
The Cardinals won Wednesday's game 10-5.