Yo! Mets Baseball Is Back
The last we saw the Mets Dominic Smith was hitting a walk-off extra inning homer against the Braves. So much has happened since then, including but not limited to a pandemic. About nine months later, the Mets and Braves were back squaring off at Citi Field.
With this matchup it seemed like the Mets picked up where they left off. That was the case with Jacob deGrom who pitched like his Cy Young self.
deGrom began the game just throwing 100 MPH with ease. The Braves just could not put up much of a fight against him. Even when Marcell Ozuna, a good MLB hitter, got up 3-0 in the count, deGrom still dispatched him with ease.
Overall, deGrom was limited to just five innings because it’s the first start after the revamp of the season. He’d allow just one hit and one walk while striking out eight. Of course, with this being deGrom, he had a no decision.
Part of the reason was Mike Soroka started for the Braves. Soroka emerged as a future ace in his rookie year last year. Soroka was good . . . and lucky.
In the first two innings, the Mets got the lead-off hitter on only for the runner to be erased on a double play. Ender Inciarte robbed both J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil of potential RBI extra base hits. There was also a bad McNeil base running gaffe.
While the Mets offense was getting shut down, the combination of deGrom and Seth Lugo was doing the same to the Braves.
Lugo mowed down the Braves in the sixth, but he’d have to come up big in the seventh. Ozuna hit it sharp to left. With a better defender, it might’ve been a single, but the Mets don’t care about defense.
After his one out double, Ozuna took third when Wilson Ramos, who had not caught in a week due to his attending to personal issues, whiffed on a pitch.
The Mets brought the infield in, and we saw one of the most unique plays you’ll ever see. Matt Adams, who was recently released by the Mets, was the Braves DH. He hit a sharp grounder to the right side. McNeil, who flipped from third to second with the shift, fielded the ball and walked it to first for the extremely rare five unassisted at first.
After that unique play, Lugo struck out Austin Riley to get out of the jam. That put Lugo in line for the win in the event the Mets could score at least one run.
Enter Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes was back after double heel surgery and a wild boar attack. He was inserted in the lineup as the first ever DH Mets DH in a game between two NL teams. After a pop out and ground out against Soroka, he faced Chris Martin.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 24, 2020
Right there, the Mets were up 1-0 with a homer we honestly would’ve expected from Cespedes years ago. These were the moments he thrived, and at least today, he seemed primed to be that player again.
What’s fascinating is Cespedes became the first ever DH to record a hit, homer, and RBI in a game between two NL teams. Believe it or not, he has now homered in three straight games.
Cespedes' last three games:
May 13, 2018
July 20, 2018
July 24, 2020
He homered in all three.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) July 24, 2020
The Mets pitching, which was excellent, made that 1-0 lead hold up. Justin Wilson worked around a lead-off single in the eighth to pitch a scoreless inning.
Edwin Diaz issued a one out walk to Freddie Freeman in the ninth. In case you had fear this was going to be the same Diaz who imploded all of last year, he’d quash those concerns by striking out Ozuna and Adams on seven pitches to end the game.
The Mets pitching was phenomenal in this win. They combined to shut out the Braves allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out 15. The Braves had no chance today.
When the Mets pitching is at this level, they don’t need much. Last year, they don’t get that run. This year, they have Cespedes. That may be all they need.
Game Notes: The Mets won their first challenge of the season when McNeil was incorrectly ruled out when stretching a single to a double. The play caused Keith Hernandez to quip about the umpire, “Get an eye chart!” Matt Adams made MLB history by being the first DH to have a PA in a game between two NL teams. The Mets wore Black Lives Matter shirts (before the game but did not kneel for the anthem.
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 24, 2020