Phillies Triple-A team getting in on rivalry with Mets
The Phillies-Mets rivalry has been rekindled this season, and even the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs are joining in on it.
Ten years ago, the Mets and the Phillies were rivals fighting for dominance at the top of the division. The apex came in 2007 when the Mets infamously collapsed in September to give Philadelphia the NL East. Once again they fought for the crown in 2008, with Philadelphia winning it.
Since then, the two haven’t felt like real rivals as they haven’t been on equal standing for much of the last decade. Things are changing this year now that both teams are back at the top of the division.
Last week, Mets reliever Jacob Rhame threw pitches at Rhys Hoskins in the ninth inning of a nine-run game in retaliation for two Mets hitters getting hit the night prior. The incident earned Rhame a two-game suspension from the league for his actions.
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The next game, the two faced off again, and Hoskins got his revenge. He hit a two-run home run off Rhame and reveled in it with a 34.23 second home run trot, the longest recorded this year. This whole sequence of events garnered national attention and has been the catalyst for the reinvigoration of this rivalry.
Rhame has since been optioned to the Triple-A Syracuse Mets.
They played Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, this week. Lehigh Valley found their way to stoke the fires of this rivalry.
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Rhame pitched Monday night and upon entering, the clip of Hoskins’ home run from the previous week was shown on the scoreboard. Syracuse did not take this well: [quote via Nate Mink of Syracuse.com]
"“They didn’t respect (us), not only the pitcher, they don’t respect us as a team,” Mets outfielder Carlos Gomez said after Monday’s game. “They should not have played that video. We’re all professionals here.”"
The IronPigs still weren’t done messing with Syracuse, as evidenced by the way they posted the Mets’ lineup for Tuesday’s game:
Syracuse ultimately got the last laugh in this matter, coming back to win Monday’s game 7-4, blowing out Lehigh Valley 18-5 Tuesday, then winning 8-2 Wednesday night.
Both teams are contending for the International League North division title, with Lehigh Valley at 17-9 and Syracuse at 17-10. They have the best two records in the entire league and will likely go back and forth all year long.
Was showing the video of Hoskins’ home run against Rhame a step too far? Probably. Still, this rivalry is something we have not experienced in quite some time, so appropriate back and forth between the teams should be welcomed.