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20/20 Hindsight: Mets Blew Opening Series

Baseball is finally back, and the Mets offense looked like they haven’t played a game since September losing 2/3 to the Braves.

1. Jacob deGrom is still the best pitcher on that planet.

2. And Seth Lugo is still the best reliever.

3. Yoenis Cespedes homering on Opening Day to help give the Mets a 1-0 victory may be the highlight of the season . . . especially if the backend of the rotation will be this bad.

4. Mets two best hitters so far this year are Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto, and it’s quite likely it stays that way.

5. With the exception of the Braves offense going bezerk yesterday, it appears the juiced ball is gone. That’s going to be a problem for some of the Mets hitters who relied upon it.

6. If J.D. Davis is in the lineup for his bat, he has to hit, or at least have more hits than Jake Marisnick does in part time duty.

7. That goes double when his defense is that bad. It’s already turned a single into a double and an out into a game altering RBI double.

8. No, you don’t want to overreact to a slow start, but remember a three game set is the equivalent of eight games. That’s over a week of the season.

9. On that note, Porcello was bad last year, and Davis was extraordinarily lucky with his hitting a juiced ball. These two are more than worth monitoring and having a short leash.

10. As for Porcello, he’s locked in the rotation because the Mets have no starting pitching depth. That, and there’s no way the Mets bench him and his prorated $10 million.

11. One of these days, Corey Oswalt will be given a legitimate opportunity to succeed. Last night, being rushed to warm up and brought into the middle of an inning when he was supposed to be preparing to start on Tuesday isn’t remotely giving him a fair shake.

12. Aside from Oswalt imploding, the Mets bullpen looked really good with Jeurys Familia rediscovering his power sinker.

13. Early on, it looks like Justin Wilson is going to be a reliever Luis Rojas really trusts. With the way he pitched last year, and his first two performances this year, you can’t blame him.

14. One nit to pick with Rojas is he needs some consistency. You can’t let Wilson Ramos run the bases with three catchers but pinch run for Cespedes with two outs and a runner on first. It doesn’t make sense to make wholesale defensive changes and leave Dominic Smith on the bench.

15. On that point, use Tomas Nido or Rene Rivera with Edwin Diaz. For a multitude of reasons, the Diaz/Ramos pairing just is not working.

16. Diaz’s stuff has looked great. However, that was a bad pitch to Marcell Ozuna. He threw five straight pitches to that side of the plate, and the previous day he went there to strike Ozuna out. Ozuna couldn’t have had a better idea what that pitch was going to be even if he was a Houston Astro.

17. That spoiled a GREAT start from Steven Matz who has seemingly taken another step forward from his second half turnaround. That added velocity and improved change makes him a legit number two instead of the one he is on paper.

18. Mets are going nowhere if Marcus Stroman‘s injury is serious.

19. We have seen Travis d’Arnaud and Tyler Flowers miss this series with COVID19 symptoms. Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro tested positive along with some teammates. It appears with catchers unable to socially distance during games, they are the players facing the brunt of the COVID19 risks.

20. It’s great having baseball back even with the universal DH and extra inning rules bastardizing the game. On the later, with all four extra inning games ending in the 10th, Rob Manfred may really push for that rule to stay. Naturally, the universal DH fans who love gimmicks to produce offense must love that.

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