The New York Mets hit 34 home runs in 19 games against the Phillies last season.
The most dramatic one came late at night on Sept. 22 when Asdrubal Cabrera smoked a three-run, walk-off homer against Edubray Ramos to give the Mets a 9-8 win in 11 innings at Citi Field.
Cabrera celebrated like a lottery winner as the ball jetted through the New York City night. He delivered a two-handed bat flip and raised his arms in triumph as Ramos began the lonely walk to the Phillies clubhouse after what turned out to be his final pitch of the 2016 season.
Ramos must have stewed about Cabrera's home run and reaction all winter because when he came face to face with Cabrera as the Mets and Phillies renewed their rivalry on Monday night, he did something about it.
Something that manager Pete Mackanin did not like.
Something that contributed to the Phillies' losing, 4-3, to the Mets (see Instant Replay).
With one out in the eighth inning of a tie ballgame, Ramos fired a 96-mph fastball over Cabrera's head. Cabrera was stunned. He straightened up, glared at Ramos and shouted, "What the hell are your doing?" Tempers began to simmer and Mackanin was actually ejected from the game. But order was restored quickly and Ramos continued to pitch to Cabrera with a warning from the umpire. Ramos ended up walking Cabrera and two batters later Jay Bruce swatted a two-run homer against Joely Rodriguez to give the Mets a 4-2 lead. Brock Stassi's first big-league hit, a solo homer in the ninth, tightened the score, and the Phils had the tying run at the plate before Mets closer Addison Reed retired Cesar Hernandez and Howie Kendrick to end the game.
It was the Mets' 27th win over the Phillies in 39 games since the start of the 2015 season.
After the game, Mackanin was critical of Ramos.
"There might have been [some history between the two]," Mackanin said. "There probably was. But I don't think about that over the course of the game. I'm trying to win the game. If he did, in fact, do that intentionally for whatever reason, we don't play that way. I don't play that way. It's inappropriate, especially in a tie game in the eighth inning."
Through a team translator, Ramos said the pitch "got away" and was not intentional. He said the home run that Cabrera hit last year was "in the past." Asked if Cabrera's celebratory reaction at the time upset him, Ramos admitted, "Yeah, a little, but again that was last year."
Ramos and Cabrera are both from Venezuela, but don't know each other.
In fact, after the game, Cabrera said he did not even know Ramos was the same guy he hit his walk-off homer against last September.
"I just found out now," Cabrera said in the postgame clubhouse.
"What happened last year was last year. I think when you hit a homer to win the game … I just enjoyed that homer. If you want to hit somebody, you've got to make sure to throw the ball down, not to the head."
Mackanin said he would speak with Ramos on Tuesday.
Given the skipper's distaste for Ramos' actions, he probably won't tell the pitcher the next time he decides to make a statement, he can't walk the hitter. Walks hurt the Phils in this one. There was the one to Cabrera that preceded Bruce's tie-breaking homer in the eighth. And there was one to Bruce by Jerad Eickhoff that turned into the tying run in the seventh.
Eickhoff pitched another strong game -- seven innings, two runs -- and got little run support. He gave up a solo home run to Bruce in the fourth inning. That home run cut the Phils' lead in half. They scored twice against Jacob deGrom in the first inning and were looking at more until Stassi grounded into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded.
"It would've been nice to [hit my first homer] in the first inning, for sure, and blow this thing open," Stassi said. "I'd never seen deGrom and he threw me a good changeup."
The Phillies and Mets play 18 more times this season, including Tuesday and Wednesday night, and three times next week in New York.
Ramos' message pitch that he says wasn't a message pitch surely fired up the Mets on Monday night. Will the heat linger?
"Of course it's going to fire them up," Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp said. "But it needs to go away now."