PHILADELPHIA -- In the City of Brotherly Love, New York Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud got to play against his sibling on Tuesday for the first time in the major leagues. Chase d’Arnaud, a 28-year-old September call-up of the Philadelphia Phillies, pinch hit in the seventh inning with his brother behind the plate.
“I had a little advantage against him,” Travis said after the Phillies' 4-3 victory. “I pitched against him.”
Travis, 26, was referring to games of “tape ball” they used to play in their driveway growing up in California. The children would roll up masking tape into a ball, then place a layer of duct tape over it.
The d’Arnauds last played against each other in the low-A South Atlantic League in 2009. Back then, Travis was a Phillies farmhand with Lakewood. Chase was with West Virginia after being selected in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates the previous year.
“I still can’t believe it happened,” Travis said. “I still vividly remember being 6 and 8, playing ‘tape ball’ in the driveway, knowing that I could throw that backdoor two-seam [fastball] to him. Fortunately, [Jonathon] Niese was able to execute a couple of those in that front hip.”
The brothers had a brief conversation once Chase stepped to the plate in the seventh inning.
“It was just all laughing,” Travis said. “I was telling him if he got on, he better steal.”
“He was telling his brother what was coming,” David Wright kidded postgame.
“Did I?” d’Arnaud playfully replied.
If he did, it didn’t help.
Niese struck out Chase with a curveball.
“Under the circumstances, where we’re up by a couple of runs -- they’ve got to win because they want home-field advantage -- I wasn’t expecting him to do me a favor,” Chase said.
As Chase headed to the dugout afterward, he muttered something to his brother.
“I’m going to keep that between me and him,” Travis said.