Programming Note: Announcing the Story Explorer

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Sometime later today you’re going to notice a minor change to HBT and the other NBC SportsTalk blogs.  At the bottom of each story there will be a little navigation bar we call the Story Explorer.

The idea is that once you’ve finished reading a post you will be able to browse and then — if you’re so inclined — navigate to other posts on the blog without having to go back to the homepage.  Those of you who have used them should recognize that the Story Explorer is rather similar to the mode of navigation used on our iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

The Story Explorer is currently live over on our outdoors blog, From the Lodge.  Click over and check it out. And, while you’re there, feel free to learn where the deer are currently rutting.  The vegans and PETA members among you can just look at this screencap:

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I’ve been messing with this thing for a little while now, and I really like it. I hope you do too.  And, of course, I hope it works.  To that end, please feel free to give us feedback on it once it goes live later today. Let us know if you like it, what, if anything, you’d change about it, if you like the location below the stories and that sort of thing.

Keep calm and carry on.

 

Phillies-Mets could get contentious tonight

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As the Mets were wrapping up a 9-0 shellacking of the Phillies on Tuesday night, reliever Jacob Rhame threw a pitch up and in to first baseman Rhys Hoskins with two outs in the ninth inning. The pitch sailed behind Hoskins’ back. The slugger wasn’t happy about the scare, understandably. Players began to trickle out of their respective dugouts, but a fracas was avoided.

Hoskins was skeptical that Rhame simply missed his spot. Per MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan, Hoskins said, “He didn’t miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide. I would assume teams are pitching me in because that’s where they think they can get me out, and that’s fine. That’s part of the game. Again, I think most guys are capable of pitching inside and not missing that bad.”

Teammate Bryce Harper said, “I don’t get it. I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it’s baseball and you’re going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the [butt]. Not in the head. You throw 98, it’s scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That’s bigger than the game.”

Indeed, two Mets were hit by pitches on Monday night. José Álvarez hit Jeff McNeil in the seventh inning, which advanced a base runner. In the very next at-bat, Juan Nicasio hit Pete Alonso with a first-pitch fastball. It was obvious neither was intentional as the Phillies were only down two runs and hitting both batters advanced base runners and led to runs scoring. It is less obvious that Rhame’s pitch to Hoskins was unintentional, but he showed empathy in his post-game comments. Rhame said, “When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary. I’d get [angry], too.”

Will Wednesday night’s series finale be contentious? Despite being “fairly upset,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “We do not retaliate, and we do not throw at anybody intentionally,” Jake Seiner of the Associated Press reports.

Mets manager Mickey Calloway didn’t give as straight an answer. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Calloway said, “I think at this point, you just go out there and beat people, and win. … For now, I don’t feel like anything has been intentional at us that has warranted anything from our side.” If that changes, however, Calloway said, “They’re going to have each other’s backs.”

Hopefully, neither side decides to take justice into their own hands. But, welcome to the NL East in 2019. The Mets lead the Phillies by one game, and the Braves and Nationals by 1.5 games. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out division fight all year long.