Due to Covid-19, this off-season was much longer than a normal one. The wait was finally over this past Friday though, as the New York Mets finally opened their season at home against the Atlanta Braves.
Reigning back-to-back Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom took the mound against young Braves stud Mike Soroka. To nobody’s surprise, it was a pitchers duel all day. DeGrom went five scoreless innings, only allowing one hit while striking out eight. Soroka threw six scoreless innings while allowing four hits and striking out three.
Just about all of the bats were quiet all game long, combining for only six hits. That is, until Yoenis Cespedes stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. Cespedes drove the 0-1 pitch 406 feet to left field.
Last year the Mets’ bullpen was one of the worst in the MLB. If this game was any sign of what’s to come, the bullpen will be much better than last season. Seth Lugo, who ultimately ended up getting the win, threw two scoreless innings (6th and 7th), while giving up one hit and striking out three. Justin Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth before Edwin Diaz came in for the ninth and finally shut the door, getting his first save of the year.
The bats did just enough to squeak by game-one of the series, squeezing out a 1-0 victory. They’re definitely going to need more than one run if they want to make a playoff push this year, especially after losing Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman.
After the Mets won the opener, they handed the ball to Steven Matz. Matz faced off with Max Fried in the second game of the series. Matz threw six innings while allowing two hits, one run and striking out seven. Fried threw five innings while allowing two hits, two runs and striking out five.
The lone run Matz allowed came off an Adam Duvall solo home run in the top of the second inning. The score would remain 1-0 in favor of Atlanta until the bottom of the fifth inning. Michael Conforto hit a double to center and was driven in by an Amed Rosario triple. Later in the inning, Jeff McNeil drove in Rosario with a sacrifice fly. That gave the Mets a 2-1 lead that they would carry into the last inning.
After Jeurys Familia, Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson all split up the seventh and eighth innings, manager Luis Rojas gave Edwin Diaz the ball for the top of the ninth inning. Diaz got Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman down in order. Up to the plate stepped Marcell Ozuna. After the count got full, Ozuna took the payoff pitch deep the other way, tying the game at 2.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets scared the Braves by getting runners on first and second with only one out, but in true Mets’ fashion, got nothing out of it. Hunter Strickland came in for the top of the tenth and right away just crumbled. After Adam Duvall was placed at second due to the new rule, Strickland gave up an RBI single to Dansby Swanson. He then gave up base hits to Johan Camargo and William Contreras giving the Braves a 5-2 lead.
In the bottom of the tenth, the Mets had the bases loaded but only got one run, dropping game-two of the series 5-3.
Rick Porcello finally made his Mets debut on Sunday in the rubber match of the series. The Braves sent out Sean Newcomb to go against Porcello. Porcello’s debut did not go as planned. Porcello only went two-plus innings allowing seven runs on seven hits. Newcomb had a better day, allowing one run on three hits over three and one third innings.
It all started in the top of the first. Matt Adams and Dansby Swanson each had an RBI single. In the bottom of the second, Brandon Nimmo had an RBI double, and that would be all she wrote, as far as the scoring went for the Mets. Swanson ended the night three for five, with a home run and five RBIs. Ozzie Albies had a night as well, ending up 3-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs.
As for the Mets pitching after Porcello left the game, it didn’t get any better. Corey Oswalt came in for four innings allowing five runs on seven hits. After him, Paul Sewald came in for two innngs and gave up two runs on two hits. Finally, Hunter Strickland came into the game in the ninth and stopped the bleeding, but the damage was already done, and then some.
Eduardo Nunez went down in the eighth inning after trying to avoid a tag at first. He was able to walk off the field on his own, but a pinch-runner was sent in.
The Mets starters only accounted for four hits and one run on the night which is not going to work.
The Mets have a two and two series with the Boston Red Sox from Monday to Thursday. After that, the Mets go down to Atlanta for a four-game series with the Braves.
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