Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals

Mike Shildt was totally fine with ‘old school baseball’ by Hector Neris

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt had no complaints about Hector Neris after the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher hit Nolan Arenado.

In baseball, what goes around usually comes around. It definitely does when it comes to retaliatory pitches.

On Thursday, Phillies pitcher Hector Neris beaned Nolan Arenado, but Cardinals manager Mike Shildt shrugged it off after the game.

“That’s old school baseball,” Shildt said, according to Derrick S. Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “A couple of their guys got drilled pretty good, so you can expect some retaliation. It was done as clean as possible. And we move on. That’s how the game polices itself. That’s why you didn’t see this ugly, people-going-nuts skirmish.”

It’s pretty clear to most viewers that Neris targeted Arenado as payback for the HBPs on Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius on Wednesday. Phillies manager Joe Girardi got thrown out for arguing that Cabrera should have been tossed.

Did the Phillies HBP hand the Cardinals a victory?

Funnily enough, one Twitter user argued the HBP retaliation might have cost the Phillies the win.

Who knows what would have happened. Neris went for Arenado in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game. Putting Arenado on base didn’t directly hurt Philadelphia since Neris struck out Tyler O’Neill to send the game into extra innings.

Maybe Arenado would have hit a home run to win the game there and then. Maybe he would have indeed struck out and changed the extra innings order. No one can know.

What we do know is the Cardinals took Game 4 to improve to 13-12, and now sit 1.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. Meanwhile, the Phillies dropped to 12-13 and now sit half a game back of the Braves in the NL East.

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