Murphy homers, benches clear, Rockies top Mets 5-1
Sure, the pitch from Gagnon that plunked Desmond square in the back looked bad. Especially because it came immediately after two colossal Colorado homers — one by Murphy against his former team.
But it wasn't intentional, according to the Mets reliever.
"He said it wasn't on purpose, so it wasn't on purpose," Desmond said after the teams got into a bench-clearing scrum late in Colorado's testy 5-1 victory Friday night. "It's water under the bridge."
Gagnon said he was a little surprised by the Rockies' angry reaction, but understood where it came from.
"The ball slipped. Two-seamer. Complete accident," Gagnon said. "When you give up two home runs and you hit a guy it looks bad, but it wasn't my intention at all."
Asked if he thought the pitch was intentional, Rockies manager Bud Black said: "I'm not sure. I don't know this fella."
Antonio Senzatela (5-4) outpitched Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, and Colorado got homers from David Dahl and Murphy in a three-run eighth inning. That made it 5-1, and the Rockies won their 10th in 12 games.
At first, Desmond clearly took exception to getting hit by Gagnon's 92 mph fastball three pitches after Murphy shuffled up the first base line with bat in hand while taking a long look at his solo shot into the right field second deck.
"I wasn't paying attention to that," Gagnon said.
The bullpens emptied and players from both sides milled close together on the field during two separate confrontations. But there didn't appear to be any serious pushing or shoving, and no punches were thrown.
"He hit me and I said, 'What are you doing?'" Desmond explained. "He said it wasn't on purpose and at that point I just put my head down and kind of started walking up the line. If we need to get more in depth with it, I'm fine with that. But it really wasn't anything major there."
A heated Murphy hopped over the dugout railing and was one of the first Rockies onto the field.
Gagnon picked up the ball and rolled it in the direction of Desmond, who jawed with the pitcher and then other Mets players.
"There wasn't much said between him and I. Just one thing. It wasn't on purpose. So I mean, that was kind of it," Gagnon said.
The second dustup appeared to involve Desmond and deGrom, but the Mets ace said he thought it was simply a misunderstanding.
"It looked worse than it was," deGrom said. "I've got no problem with him."
After the teams finally returned to their dugouts, plate umpire Chris Segal warned both benches and there was no further trouble.
"We determined that we did not think the pitch was intentional. And then, given the situation, when everybody's milling around like that, it's usually the best move to put in a warning. We're stuck. We can't just do nothing there," crew chief Mike Winters told a pool reporter.
"Bad situation to be hit there, but we didn't think it was intentional."
Two batters before Murphy connected, Dahl hit a titanic two-run homer off Gagnon into the second deck in right to make it 4-1.
By the time the game was over, tempers had cooled.
"There's a lot of guys over there on that team that I trust in this industry, that I really value their opinion, and they were all saying they didn't think it was on purpose," Murphy said. "I don't think it's a great look. But I'm going to take them at their word."
Raimel Tapia hit an RBI double off deGrom in the third, and Desmond added a run-scoring single in the fourth.
Senzatela gave up one run and four hits in six innings without a strikeout. Rockies closer Wade Davis, just off the injured list, worked a scoreless ninth.
Michael Conforto homered for the Mets, and deGrom (3-6) allowed two runs in six arduous innings. He struck out 10.
"He had good stuff tonight. It was a good win," Murphy said.
ROBBED BY HIS OWN TEAMMATE
Early in the game, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso denied deGrom a strikeout by making a diving catch in foul territory of Senzatela's two-strike bunt attempt. The right-hander gave his rookie teammate a hard time with a long glare and some choice words before the two shared a laugh.
"He's obviously just kind of a dry humor guy," Alonso said. "After a while, he kind of cracked a smile."
Rockies: Davis and RF Charlie Blackmon, both three-time All-Stars, were reinstated from the injured list. Blackmon was available off the bench and is expected to start Saturday night. He had been sidelined since May 24 with a strained right calf, while Davis had been out since May 19 with a left oblique strain. To make room on the roster, Colorado optioned 2B-OF Garrett Hampson to Triple-A Albuquerque, and LHP Chris Rusin was designated for assignment.
Mets: 2B Robinson Canó sat out his second consecutive game. The 36-year-old Canó aggravated his strained left quadriceps Wednesday night, hours after coming off the injured list. New York manager Mickey Callaway said the team put Canó through a pregame workout Friday and was still trying to determine whether he needs to go back on the IL. ... OF Brandon Nimmo (neck) began a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A St. Lucie but there is no target date yet for his return.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (5-4, 4.11 ERA) pitches Saturday night after throwing six shutout innings of two-hit ball to beat Toronto last time out. Gray is 1-1 with a 9.72 ERA in four starts against the Mets.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (4-4, 3.97 ERA) is coming off a 7-1 loss Sunday in Arizona. He is 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA in his past six games at home, and New York has won all of them. Matz is 0-4 with a 6.85 ERA in five starts against Colorado.