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The New York Mets may want to consider changing their team colors from orange and blue to black and blue.
A Mets batter was hit by a pitch for the 106th time this season Wednesday afternoon, breaking the modern record for most times plunked in a season.
Last year’s Cincinnati Reds set the record with 105, narrowly beating out the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were hit by 104 pitches in 2021. Both teams surpassed Cleveland from 2008, whose players were beaned 103 times.
The Mets entered the day tied with that Cleveland team, but Mark Canha apparently really wanted to make history. He was hit by two pitches Wednesday to tie the record. In the ninth inning, Luis Guillorme was hit by a slider in the foot, breaking the record.
It was the eighth time the Mets have been hit by at least three pitches in a game this season, and Mets manager Buck Showalter asked a ball boy to keep the now notorious ball that set the new record.
Canha now leads all MLB players by getting hit by 24 pitches this year. That also broke the franchise record by teammate Brandon Nimmo, who was hit 22 times in 2018.
The Mets have had their fair share of hit-by-pitch incidents. On April 8, the Mets’ second game of the season, they cleared the benches with the Washington Nationals when Francisco Lindor was hit in the face with a pitch.
Later that month, way before the Mets had any idea they’d likely make infamous history, Showalter met with MLB officials about the issue.
Showalter sounded off on the lack of grips on baseballs around the time he met with the league.
“Let’s be frank about it,” Showalter said at the time. “Gripping a baseball, the pitchers took it too far with the Spider Tack and made it a pitching advantage with spin rate and everything, and now I’m not so sure we haven’t gone too far the other way. Trying to grip a baseball that’s been rubbed with mud in April and early May and October is real slick. The rosin just doesn’t do as much as you think. Somehow I think we’ve gone too far.
“I’ve always pushed for a universal pitching rag behind the mound where guys can tap their fingers, and you won’t have guys getting hit nearly as much. I think a lot of hit by pitches are guys can’t grip the baseball.”
The Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates had a bench-clearing incident last week after Pete Alonso was hit by a pitch, but perhaps their biggest ruckus was against the St. Louis Cardinals, also in April, when the Mets retaliated by going slightly up-and-in on Nolan Arenado.
The Mets’ previous franchise record for batters being hit by pitches was 95 in 2019. They were hit by 94 of them last year and 73 the year prior. Their top four hit-by-pitch numbers in franchise history have all come in the last four full MLB seasons (2020 was a 60-game season).
The Mets lost Wednesday’s game to the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-0.
The Mets have 11 more games to play, so they likely will shatter the record. They are on pace to get hit by 113 pitches.