Jeff McNeil of the Mets gets baseballs thrown while playing on the field in Cincinnati

Jeff McNeil of the Mets gets baseballs thrown while playing on the field in Cincinnati
March 30, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) watches from the dugout before the game against the Miami Marlins at LoanDepot Park. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

In the final stages of the Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night, the outfielder Jeff McNeil got heckled by fans and it almost got ugly.

Late in the eighth inning, a ball was thrown in the direction of McNeil. McNeil told Newsday’s Tim Healey after the game that he didn’t see where the ball was coming from, so he simply threw it into the left field bleachers at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

A second bullet came towards him just before Adam Piccolo delivered a pitch, which forced McNeil to throw it into the infield. This act apparently drew the ire of Reds fans who began to boo McNeil when he struck in the top of the ninth and took the field in the bottom half of the inning.

“You don’t expect that in Cincinnati, do you?” director Buck Showalter said after the game. “They threw one away, he thought it was a kid who dropped him. So he picks it up, throws it up there, and here’s another one that just missed it.

McNeil, who went 1 for 5 in the contest, was sarcastic when telling Healey about the incident but made sure to convey its seriousness.

“I made friends,” McNeil said. “But that should never happen at a major league baseball game.”

The Mets alerted rough security to the incident and “six or seven” people were kicked out, according to Showalter.

New York ends its three-game set with Cincinnati Thursday afternoon at 12:35 p.m., looking to win the series. Hopefully there won’t be any wild baseballs on the outfield.


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