Things between the Mets and Marlins took a weird turn on Tuesday night.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the Marlins leading 6-3 at Citi Field, reliever Richard Bleier took the mound. The veteran quickly got Brandon Nimmo to ground out and Francisco Lindor to line out. Jeff McNeil singled, and then things got strange — very strange.
With Pete Alonso at bat, Bleier was charged with a balk — the first in his 303 career appearances — sending McNeil to second. A second balk sent the Mets infielder to third.
Two balks in the same at-bat was odd enough, but on the fifth pitch against Alonso, Bleier was once again called for a balk, scoring McNeil. According to Jerry Blevins on the SNY broadcast, Bleier may not have been bringing his hands to enough of a stop before throwing a pitch.
The final balk sent Miami manager Don Mattingly into a rage — possibly his last with the Marlins — causing him to state his case to the umpires before getting tossed.
Bleier regained his composure to get Alonso to ground out and escape the inning otherwise unscathed, though he made sure the umpires heard — and saw — his displeasure. He continued barking at the officials on his way to the Marlins dugout, earning an ejection of his own.
The 35-year-old now leads the majors in balks.
Miami hung on for a 6-4 win, one that will be remembered for a pretty bizarre inning.