Jeff McNeil

At Least Dominic Smith Homered

Being without power, I missed much of the past week of Mets baseball. So, while trying to catch up, I at least got to see what happened in last night’s game.

Like all Mets fans, I was not remotely surprised Humberto Mejia went from never pitching above Single-A to striking out six Mets over 2.1 innings. It’s also not surprising the Mets had a rally which fell short because this team is terrible with RISP, and Luis Rojas still hasn’t quite mastered using pinch runners.

On the bright side, the Mets apparently did two things I’ve been noting they need to do. Jeff McNeil was back in left. Pete Alonso was the DH. Dominic Smith was at first. This should be a no brainer, but then again, this is the Mets.

If they keep making smart decisions like these, the wins will eventually come. They’ll also come when Smith continues to do things like this:

That Smith homer is another indication how the Mets need to shift from this dumb mindset of trying to find him at-bats to just playing him everyday. He’s an everyday player at this level, and he’s a good one.

Mets Pay Price For Getting deGrom Run Support

In case you thought things were really bizarre with the Mets in 2020, we just saw something truly bizarre. The Mets gave Jacob deGrom run support.

The big outburst came in a four run third.

With runners at first and second, Michael Conforto delivered the hit the Mets desperately needed with an RBI single off Mike Soroka. After Pete Alonso walked, Robinson Cano delivered an RBI single scoring Conforto.

Disaster would strike that inning. When it seemed Soroka couldn’t get anyone out, J.D. Davis hit a fielder’s choice to Freddie Freeman. When Soroka went to go to first he pulled up lame, and he had to be helped off the field.

Soroka was not the only injury on the day.

Davis was plugged into the starting lineup because Jeff McNeil experienced lower back tightness. After hitting a single in the third, reaching third on a Marcell Ozuna error, Amed Rosario was pulled from the game with left quad tightness. Robinson Cano, who has been insanely hot of late, left the same with left groin tightness.

Aside from the injuries, the Mets offense was clicking. Cano would have another RBI single before departing the game. Wilson Ramos had an RBI single and a two run homer.

Those seven runs were more than enough for deGrom. He’d allow just two runs over six with one of them being a Travis d’Arnaud fifth inning solo homer. His final line was

It wasn’t complete smooth sailing for the Mets. Jeurys Familia loaded the bases with one out in the seventh. He’d strike out Ozzie Albies, and Justin Wilson would relieve him to get Freeman to ground out to end the jam.

Jared Hughes made his Mets debut pitching two scoreless innings to secure the 7-2 win. Even with all the injuries, it seemed like this was a game where the Mets got healthy.

Game Notes: Before the game, Brandon Nimmo cast doubt on the Mets account they were not informed of Yoenis Cespedes‘ opt out.

d’Arnaud, Bullpen, And Defense Deliver Dreadful Mets Loss

Well, after losing two in a row, Rick Porcello got to play the role of stopper for his hometown team. Initially, it didn’t look good.

After two quick outs, notorious Mets killer Freddie Freeman got the rally started with a single. That started a string of four starting singles. The last two came for Matt Adams and former Met Travis d’Arnaud. That gave the Braves a 2-0 lead when if they lowered Porcello’s ERA.

Porcello would actually settle in, and he’d put up some zeros. Thanks to a six run fifth, he’d be in position to pick up the win.

Robinson Cano, who easily had his best game of the season, led off the inning with a solo homer off Sean Newcomb to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. The Mets were far from done.

After Wilson Ramos singled, Andres Gimenez dropped down a perfect drag bunt. Brandon Nimmo would hit a single to load the bases for Pete Alonso.

Alonso walked to force in a run, and then Michael Conforto showed incredible wrist strength on a 3-2 check swing and also walked to force in a run. Yoenis Cespedes hit a two run double. The Mets then batted around with Cano hitting an RBI single increasing the Mets lead to 8-2.

You’d think the Mets should cruise, but then again, this is the Mets.

After Porcello issued a lead-off walk to Dansby Swanson, J.D. Davis just flat out dropped a fly ball. His error was dubbed the Mets worst error of the year by Gary Cohen. Instead of one on, one out, it was two on, no outs. That led to Paul Sewald replacing Porcello thereby cheating Porcello of the chance of getting the win.

Again, it was Adams and d’Arnaud hurting the Mets. Adams hit an RBI double, and d’Arnaud singles to pull the Braves within 8-4. An Austin Riley RBI groundout made it 8-5.

An Amed Rosario homer to lead off the sixth began a two run inning giving the Mets a 10-5 lead. It still wasn’t enough.

Chasen Shreve, easily the Mets best pitcher of the night still allowed a run in his two innings. On the bright side, five of his six outs recorded were strikeouts. His one non-strikeout was a great play by Gimenez

The Mets brought on Dellin Betances to start the eighth, and that’s when the wheels fell off.

Betances didn’t have it both in terms of control and stuff as he was only hitting 94 MPH on the gun. The bad inning started with a leadoff single by Adeiny Hechavarria. Then, Betances walked Ender Inciarte.

Swanson singled to pull the Braves within 10-7. Then, Betances nearly hit Freeman on a 3-0 pitch. That pitch got past Ramos. Betances was late to the plate, and he still almost got the tag down on Inciarte. In fact, it appeared he did, but replay confirmed the run.

Now, it should be noted Seth Lugo was ready, and yet Luis Rojas initially stuck with Betances. It wasn’t until the wild pitch and walk to Freeman that Lugo entered the game.

Lugo wasn’t sharp. He walked Marcell Ozuna. That was the seventh walk Mets pitchers issued and the fifth by the Mets bullpen. After Lugo got Johan Camargo to hit a shallow fly ball, d’Arnaud came up to the plate.

d’Arnaud would hit an RBI double to right center. Notably, on that play career right fielder Ryan Cordell, put in center for defense, couldn’t cut it off in time. As a result, it was a bases clearing double giving the Braves an 11-10 lead.

Of note, the Mets called up Cordell over Juan Lagares when Jake Marisnick hit the IL. Lagares cuts that ball off earlier and keeps the score tied.

Instead, the Mets fell behind. The decisive blow was delivered by their former catcher, a guy Brodie Van Wagenen cut. Last year, d’Arnaud was more productive than Ramos, and tonight, d’Arnaud was 3-for-4 with a double, walk, and five RBI.

In a nice juxtaposition, it was Ramos, who is hitting .208 this year, who flew out to end the game with the tying run at second. That saddled Lugo with the loss and the entire Mets team with an uglier loss.

This was an ugly loss which exposed the Mets bullpen and only further highlighted the team’s bad defense. When you have that, you’re going to have more than your fair share of these losses.

Game Notes: Gimenez started at third over Jeff McNeil. Mets scored 10 runs tonight. They’ve scored 12 runs in five home games.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Disappointing Red Sox Split

With the crazy 2020 schedule, the Mets had a four game two city set with the Boston Red Sox. The road teams had the better of it.

1. Luis Rojas hasn’t been any different than Mickey Callaway in his decision making.

2. Andres Gimenez having more PA than Dominic Smith is inexcusable. It’s even worse when Gimenez is getting critical at-bats late in games over Smith.

3. With Smith and Luis Guillorme, it’s hard to conclude anything other than the Mets aren’t prioritizing getting them into games. After all, Brian Dozier wasn’t in full game shape and missed Summer Camp, yet he was activated and started the finale.

4. While people are over-focusing on Edwin Diaz‘s tough inning, they’re missing just how bad Wilson Ramos has been in every aspect of his game.

5. Diaz imploding again, and the Mets essentially admitting Robinson Cano is now a platoon player, that trade somehow got worse.

6. Speaking of awful trades, Blake Taylor has been terrific in the Astros pen while the Mets can’t figure out the pen, and Jake Marisnick is on the IL.

7. Aside from Rick Porcello, the Mets have gotten good starting pitching. Their offense, while disappointing, has been good. And yet, they’re under .500. Why? Because they’re the worst defensive club in baseball.

8. Much of that is attributable to J.D. Davis, who has been dreadful in left. Much like last year, he’s the worst defensive LF in baseball. It was his defense which led to the game winning rally on Wednesday.

9. The Mets need to go back to the drawing board and re-figure things out. Davis doesn’t belong in left. Amed Rosario is not a lead-off hitter. Your top OBP guy in Brandon Nimmo can’t hit ninth. Jeff McNeil is struggling at third.

10. Seth Lugo is far too versatile and important to be just a closer. If the Mets are moving on from Diaz, a committee led by Jeurys Familia is the right approach.

11. Don’t discount Drew Smith who has been terrific.

12. Speaking of terrific young Mets pitchers, David Peterson took his velocity and game to another level in his first career start. It this is who he is now, his ceiling is much higher.

13. Despite what delusional Yankees fans will tell you Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball. He now has a 2.23 ERA in no decisions.

14. deGrom should’ve had the win, but that’s nothing new. He needs more run support.

15. The Mets had some very ugly ABs in crucial situations. Michael Conforto had a few of those. Don’t make too much of that as Conforto is a terrific hitter.

16. It’s interesting Dozier was activated but not Juan Lagares when both were very similarly situated. It’s all the more interesting when the Mets activated Ryan Cordell over Lagares when the team needed to replace Marisnick’s defense.

17. Overall, this Mets team should be better. It’s just better situational hitting (which comes and goes) and playing a better defensive lineup, which the Mets refuse to do.

18. You wonder how much longer the Mets can stick with Yoenis Cespedes. At times, he looks lost. Other times, he’s battling in AB and seems very close.

19. Speaking of Cespedes, it seems odd today is July 31 and we’re not awaiting Brodie Van Wagenen making a dumb trade.

20. We may never reach that new trade deadline with the Phillies on the cusp of an outbreak themselves, no one knowing when the Marlins can play again, and with Rob Manfred not taking this pandemic seriously.

Game Recaps

No Joking: Wacha And Mets Offense Were Terrific

David Peterson Debut Knocked The Red Sox Off

Mets Loss Was Not Luis Rojas Best Managed Game

Vazquez Beats Matz

Vazquez Beats Matz

Larry Jones. Pat Burrell. Willie Harris. Willie Stargell. Mets killers all.

Apparently, Christian Vazquez now belongs on this list.

After an impressive first start of the season, Steven Matz was good again tonight. Good, not great, and that was because of Vazquez.

Over his 5.1 innings, Matz allowed three runs on eight hits. All three of those runs came on Vazquez homers.

The first homer came in the top of the second. Matt settled in, and the Mets would get him a lead. In the third, Jeff McNeil hit a bases loaded two RBI single. The Mets only had one out, but failed to push across another run. It would cost them.

In the fourth, Matz had one of his moments of old. Xander Bogaerts led off the inning with a slow roller down the third base line. McNeil had little choice but to eat it. Matz was visibility frustrated by getting beat on a slow dribbler off a good pitch.

Like we’ve seen in the past with him, he can let the emotions get the better of him. He’d leave a fastball up and over the middle of the plate, and Vazquez would hit his second homer of the game giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.

Vazquez really just wore out the Mets in this four game two city set. He was 4-for-12 with three homers and four RBI. All three of his homers came over the last two games.

It wasn’t just his work at the plate. He was also terrific behind the plate. He worked well with Martin Perez. On that note, Perez allowed just two runs on two hits and four walks over 5.1 innings.

Vazquez would also throw out one of the two stolen base attempts against him.

Back to Perez, he was good but very wild walking four. Even with those four walks, the Mets really only got something started in the third against Perez.

Fortunately, the Mets bullpen was great with Drew Smith pitching 1.2 scoreless with two strikeouts. Jeurys Familia has his turbo sinker working striking out two in a 1-2-3 eighth. That gave the Mets a chance.

They got a rally started too. After Pete Alonso was plunked by Matt Barnes. He’d then go from first to third on a single putting runners at the corners with one out.

Michael Conforto came up with a chance, but he had a terrible at-bat. He was uncomfortable with many check swings, and he’d just get overpowered when he struck out. As good as Conforto was to start he year, he’s been that bad the last two games.

Yoenis Cespedes had a hard fought at-bat where he drew a walk loading the bases. That put the game in Andres Gimenez‘s hands. How the Mets got here was an interesting story.

Despite not really preparing for the season and missing Summer Camp, the Mets activated Brian Dozier. Not only was he activated, but he’d also be thrust into the starting lineup.

Dozier was 0-for-2 with a GIDP. With the Red Sox pitching the right-handed Heath Hembree, Luis Rojas sent Robinson Cano to the plate. After Cano’s lead-off single, Rojas sent Gimenez in to pinch run for Cano. Gimenez would steal a base, but he’d get stranded.

That meant Gimenez was up in the Dozier/Cano spot in the eighth. Unlike yesterday when he tripled, he rolled over one for the inning ending groundout.

In the ninth, the Mets brought in Edwin Diaz who loaded the bases with no outs. He’d strike out Rafael Devers and on a 3-2 pitch, he’d plunk Jose Peraza to force in a run.

This led to the Mets bringing in Paul Sewald. Sewald kept the Mets within 4-2 by striking out Kevin Pillar and getting J.D. Martinez to fly out to end the inning.

Brandon Workman, who really labored yesterday and nearly blew the save, came on to try to get another save tonight.

After Wilson Ramos inexplicably swung at the first pitch and grounded out, Nimmo singled. After Amed Rosario struck out, the game was in Alonso’s hands.

Alonso swung at a 2-2 pitch well out of the zone to strike out and end the game. The Mets turned what should’ve been a series sweep with two flat out ugly loses at home, and they fell back under .500.

Game Notes: Dozier replaced Eduardo Nunez, who was placed on the IL. Daniel Zamora was recalled, and Hunter Strickland was designated for assignment. Despite having a 22 game on base streak, Brandon Nimmo continues to bat ninth.

Jeff McNeil May Need To Move Back To Left Field

Arguably, Jeff McNeil was the most important player on the Mets last year. In addition to his 144 OPS+, he was a good defender at four different positions.

It’s still early in 2020, but we’re not seeing the same McNeil this year.

In terms of his offense, it’s way too soon to overreact. First off all, he still has a 112 OPS+. Second, it’s only six games. Mostly, we’ve seen him for over two years now. We have an idea of the good of a hitter he is.

What we really don’t know is how good of a third baseman he is. Yes, his career numbers are good. He entered this season with a 5 DRS, and he’s posted a 2 OAA at the position in each of the past two years.

We’ve also seen him play well across the diamond. Defensively, he appears to have a high baseball IQ, and he’s got the tools to be a good defender no matter where he plays. Still, at third, we really haven’t seen him get consistent playing time at third.

Early on this season, we’ve seen his arm look like it could be an issue. So far this year, he’s already made three errors with one of those being a throwing error. Of course, that’s only part of the story.

McNeil has been saved of a few errors by Pete Alonso. He was also the beneficiary of some bizarre home town scoring which probably saved him of two errors in Boston.

Now, it’s way too soon to officially say McNeil should move off third base due to his arm. After all, if you’ve been watching, he seems a bit rusty right now. We see he’s not quite hitting at the same level yet, and we’ve seen him make more than enough mental errors on that base paths.

If he’s rusty, it’s certainly understood with the long layoff due to COVID19 and the abbreviated Summer Camp. That said, his ability to consistently make those throws should be monitored.

The Mets should also be assessing their roster with the roster spots soon dropping down to 30 and Jake Marisnick‘s injury.

On that note, J.D. Davis‘ defense in left has continued to be putrid. He has shown no signs of improvement from last year, and he’s already at a -3 DRS. Fact is, he’s very ill suited to playing left, and his defense has already led to outs and singled being turned into extra base hits.

At some point, if McNeil continues to struggle with throws, the Mets should seriously consider putting him back in left. The Mets could then experiment with Davis in left, or better yet, they could look to play Andres Gimenez at third if he continues to do things like hitting an RBI triple.

In any event, it’s too soon to be making rash decisions with McNeil. Then again, this is an abbreviated season where there is not much room for error. Moreover, the Mets are in desperate need for a real left fielder.

It’s only been a week, and it appears the Mets have some very difficult decisions to make.

Mets Loss Was Not Luis Rojas Best Managed Game

Oft times, managers catch too much blame for team losses. For example, last year, people were livid with Mickey Callaway for bringing in Seth Lugo, the best reliever in the game. That actually happened.

Then, there are times like tonight where you really have to wonder what the manager was thinking. Tonight was one of those nights for Luis Rojas.

The Mets had entered the bottom of the seventh with the game tied 3-3. Because life isn’t fair, the Mets failed to get Jacob deGrom a win.

deGrom has allowed just two runs over six innings. Both runs came in the fourth. Rafael Devers and Mitch Moreland hit a pair of doubles, and then deGrom unleashed two wild pitches allowing Moreland to score.

At that time, the Red Sox were up 2-1 with the Mets first run coming on a Dominic Smith RBI groundout with the bases loaded. The Mets would tie it in the fifth on a Brandon Nimmo homer.

In the sixth, Andres Gimenez, who got his first Major League start at short, came up huge hitting an RBI triple in the sixth. It was his first career triple and RBI. With Lugo coming in, you had to feel good about the Mets chances.

Unfortunately, Lugo hung a curve to Christian Vazquez, who hit a solo homer to tie the game. Still, it was only tied, and the Mets had a chance in the bottom of the seventh.

Jeff McNeil was hit by a pitch, and Pete Alonso singled putting two on with one out. Michael Conforto failed to deliver the RBI, but he did advance the runners. That should have brought up Smith, the team’s RBI leader up against a tired Josh Osich.

Instead, Rojas went to J.D. Davis as a pinch hitter, and the Red Sox countered with Heath Hembree. Hembree completely overpowered Davis to end the inning.

To compound the mistake of using Davis as a pinch hitter, Rojas put him in left. That proved wrong when Kevin Pillar hit a fly ball literally every other LF in baseball, Smith included, catches. But that’s what happens when you have to play very deep to accommodate insufficient range to play the position, and Davis lacks the instincts and ability to read the ball causing him to let an extraordinarily playable ball drop in front of him.

That play was all the more problematic because Justin Wilson was on fumes. To put it in perspective, this was Wilson’s fourth appearance, and this was the Mets sixth game.

He would load the bases with one out. After Wilson struck out Devers, the bad luck would start. Moreland has a swinging bunt McNeil could not cleanly pick up. Then, for some reason with Dellin Betances earning and ready in the pen, Rojas stuck with the fatigued Wilson to face the right-hand hitting Vazquez.

Vasquez hit a bleeder past a diving Alonso scoring two giving the Red Sox a 6-3 lead. After Wilson walked Alex Verdugo to reload the bases, Rojas finally went to Betances, who got the Mets out of the inning.

From there, well, the Mets did what they do best. They ripped your heart out.

Heading into the bottom of the ninth, it was 6-4 because Cespedes crushed his second homer of the season in the eighth.

The Mets didn’t build on that partially because Jose Peraza would not only rob Wilson Ramos of a base hit, but he would also start a gorgeous inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

Brandon Workman had no command whatsoever, and the Mets loaded the bases with no outs. The Mets failed to tie it.

Conforto, who struggled mightily today, struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch on the corner. After an infield single pulling the Mets to within 6-5 because Devers couldn’t make a string enough throw, Cespedes came up.

Cespedes had a poor AB swinging at a 2-0 pitch out of the strike zone and whiffing on a 3-2 flat cutter in the middle of the strike zone. That put the game in Robinson Cano‘s hands. Sadly, he lined weakly to short to end the game.

Frankly, this was an abominable loss. The game was replete with poor at-bats in key spots, and Rojas made a number of mistakes. With Rojas, this is game six for him. We can and should expect better from him.

Game Notes: Jake Marisnick was put on the IL. Ryan Cordell was called up to take his place on the roster. Jordan Humphreys was designated for assignment to make room on the 40 man roster. Alonso had a four hit game.

No Joking: Wacha and Mets Offense Were Terrific

Whereas nothing went right in the series finale against the Braves, nearly everything went right against the Red Sox. That was all the more incredible when you consider Amed Rosario and Jeff McNeil ran them out of the top of the first.

Rosario you understood as he was aggressive running to an open base, and honestly, it was shocking to see Xander Bogaerts beat him in a foot race. As for McNeil, he was just picked off.

This didn’t come back to haunt the Mets. For starters, it didn’t because Michael Wacha was very good over five innings against the Red Sox. He kept them off balance with his change, and he was pumping his fastball up to 97 MPH.

The only run off of him was a Mitch Moreland solo homer in the fourth. By then, the game was effectively over.

The Mets offense finally woke up against the bullpenning Red Sox. Every batter reached base safely at least once, and Robinson Cano was the only starter without a hit.

The Mets offense put together three straight innings with multiple run homers. First, it was a Michael Conforto two run shot off Josh Osich in the second:

Then, Pete Alonso got off the snide after struggling much of the early part of the season with an absolute laser over the monster:

Then, in the fourth, Dominic Smith hit a three run homer increasing the Mets lead to 7-1:

Of course, with this being the Mets, they can’t make anything easy.

Chasen Shreve, making his Mets debut, allowed a homer to Bogaerts in his two innings of work. That made it 7-2 Mets.

Jeurys Familia came on in the eighth, and unfortunately, he did not build on his impressive first appearance of the season.

The problems started when he issued a one out walk to J.D. Martinez. Rafael Devers doubled setting up runners on second a third with one out. Both runs would score leading to Luis Rojas to bring in Seth Lugo for the four out save.

Lugo got out of the eighth, and he retired the Red Sox in order to preserve the 7-4 victory. The Mets are now back at .500 and just hoping to be able to play another day.

Game Notes: Brandon Nimmo batted ninth again. Smith was the DH with Yoenis Cespedes getting the day off.

Mets Didn’t Edwin Game Diaz Blew

Luis Rojas and the Mets had done nearly everything right, and they were one strike away from going to 2-0 on the season.

Steven Matz was brilliant over six innings allowing just a homer to Adam Duvall. It was only one of the two hits he allowed while he struck out seven.

He got a lead in the fifth on a rally started by the same Michael Conforto we’re all told can’t hit lefties hit a double off Braves left-handed starter Max Fried. Conforto scored on an Amed Rosario RBI triple, and Rosario scored on a Jeff McNeil sacrifice fly.

Jeurys Familia was great out of the bullpen flashing the same power sinker which made him a great closer. Dellin Betances had a rocky debut for the Mets, but it didn’t hurt that Mets for a few reasons.

First, Rojas went to Justin Wilson to face Matt Adams. When Adams singled, it didn’t score a run because in the top of the eighth, Rojas brought in Jake Marisnick for defense. If that’s Brandon Nimmo in center, Adams single goes for extra bases and ties the score. Instead, the Mets got out of the inning with the lead.

Now, there were some questionable decisions. After Wilson Ramos led off the seventh with a single, Rojas didn’t pinch run for him even with the Mets having three catchers. Ramos was stranded at third (even if his speed wasn’t really the reason).

What made that interesting was in the eighth with two outs Rojas did pinch run Eduardo Nunez for Yoenis Cespedes. Nunez would steal second, but he would be stranded there. He was stranded there because in his first MLB at-bat Andres Gimenez.

Gimenez was brought in for defense for Robinson Cano even with Cano due up fourth. It’s not a bad decision, but you do wonder why not Luis Guillorme there when he had a good year last year, especially in those spots.

Despite all that, the Mets had a 2-1 lead in the ninth, and Edwin Diaz was looking great. He got the first two Braves out with ease, and he was 3-2 with Marcell Ozuna before making an okay pitch.

For those defending the pitch, EVERY PITCH OF THE AT-BAT WAS ON THE OUTSIDE CORNER. Ozuna knew exactly the location allowing him the advantage of knowing to go the other way. You go belt high to a batter knowing the location, bad things are going to happen.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets had runners on first and second with one out, but neither Nimmo (who batted ninth) nor McNeil could drive in the game winning run.

In the tenth, we saw that ridiculous new rule putting a runner put on second to start the inning. That runner scored immediately when Hunter Strickland allowed an RBI single to Dansby Swanson. Strickland wasn’t good at all. By the time he allowed a RBI double to William Contreras, the Braves fourth string catcher, it was 5-2.

Honestly, when you look at this game, Diaz was not the only player to blow it.

Nimmo and McNeil twice had runners in scoring position in the late innings, and they failed to deliver the needed insurance run. They also failed to capitalize in the bottom of the 10th.

The Mets loaded the bases with no outs against Luke Jackson in his second inning of work. Instead of Cespedes up, it was Nunez, who hit a shallow fly. Dominic Smith pinch hit for Gimenez and hit a sacrifice fly pulling the Mets to within 5-3.

That would be the final score with Ramos, who was not pinch run for, grounding out to end the game. That groundout came on the heels of some interesting (if not questionable) decisions. It came on the heels of a number of blown chances.

In a normal season, a loss like this feels devastating. In a season where a game is equivalent to 2.7 games, it may actually be devastating.

Game Notes: Last year, Diaz had a 13.50 ERA with zero days of rest, and he had a 6.14 ERA pitching to Ramos. J.D. Davis has started the year 0-for-6 with two strikeouts.

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.

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.

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.

Pete Alonso and Brandon Nimmo wore “Love Thy Neighbor” shirts instead of the Black Lives Matter shirts.