Final Score: Mets 7, Phillies 2
Jacob deGrom made quick work of the Quadruple-A Phillies in the home opener, and he even drove in a run. He left after 76 pitches in the 6th inning with right lat tightness. Apparently he tweaked it while hitting. Can we bring the DH to the NL already? They said it’s minor and he’s fine. Sure it is. I don’t like the sound of this at all. Get him outta here. Send him to his wife so he can be there when she gives birth and skip his next start. Keep him healthy. Keep them all healthy. Pray.
Through 5 innings, this game seemed like it was going to be a true throwback to the first half of 2015. Mets starting pitchers doing all the work on the mound and at the plate. The Mets couldn’t get much of anything going off of Jerad Eickhoff until the bottom of the 6th. Then the Mets offense broke through. Duda doubled. Neil Walker drove him in with a single. Michael Conforto doubled to drive Walker in and make it 3-1. And that ended Eickhoff’s day.
Then in the 7th, the Mets started hitting the Phillies crappy bullpen. David Wright walked with 1 out. Yoenis Cespedes singled Wright to third. Lucas Duda walked. Neil Walker singled in Wright to make it 4-1. Then Conforto (possibly the best hitter on the team already?) singled to drive in Cespedes and Duda. Then with two outs Travis d’Arnaud had an RBI single to make it 7-1.
The pen looked good other than Hansel Robles who got yanked after giving up a run. Robles didn’t have a great spring, but he did just have a long layoff due to the two game suspension he served in KC. Maybe he was rusty. Antonio Bastardo finally appeared and looked good in the 9th striking out 2.
Velocity Watch: I saw a lot of people on Twitter joking about deGrom’s velocity watch. By joking, I mean they were belittling the velocity issue because he was effective. “What velocity problem?” etc etc. Look, deGrom is a skilled pitcher. He doesn’t need to throw 96 MPH to be effective. We know this. And it’s the home opener. Pitchers often start slow and build up velocity over the course of the season. But the fact remains he’s throwing 92 MPH and he averaged 94.5 MPH last year. Now he leaves the game with lat soreness? The velocity differential is still worth monitoring. That’s all I’m saying. Sometimes diminished velocity means something like umm possibly a guy is pitching injured. Sometimes it doesn’t mean anything at all. It may be the oldest scouting red flag in the book, but it’s still one of the most meaningful pitching indicators in existence.
Middle Infield Defense Exists: “Asdrubal Cabrera has no range” says people who have watched anyone other than Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada at SS the last 5 years. Every time I heard or read this take on Cabrera in the offseason I rolled my eyes. Our shortstop looked very competent out there today. We haven’t been able to say that since Reyes.
Conforto Platoon: Terry after the game said Conforto and Lagares form a strict platoon. Terry is laugh out loud hilarious. I don’t think he got the memo from Sandy yet that Conforto is the best hitter on our team. Soon enough he’ll be playing him into the ground.
Ice Cold Soup: Eric Campbell struck out in his first plate appearance of the 2016 season and remains on pace to strike out every time up in 2016.
Tomorrow: Bartolo pitches tomorrow. The game could get snowed out apparently. It’s also fireworks night. It’s always fireworks night when Big Sexy is on the mound. Let’s beat em again.