20/20 Hindsight: Mets Capitalize Against Bad Nationals Team
The New York Mets opened their season on the road against the Washington Nationals, and they came just this close to a four game sweep. It was a pretty good start which could’ve been better:
2. If Carlos Carrasco is what he was on Sunday, which was the same pitcher we saw in Cleveland, than the rest of baseball is in trouble.
4. Mets pitching held Soto to 3-for-14 with his homer coming off a mistake pitch from Trevor May. That is extremely impressive with Soto being one of the best in the game. With respect to May, he’ll be fine. It was just one pitch.
5. In terms of Soto, the Apple TV+ game was a mixed bag, but the one thing they did well was try to promote star players like Soto. Trying to promote him and the images broadcast were definitely pluses. As for the rest, we will see how they improve after this game.
6. Francisco Lindor has gotten off to a very good start at the plate which was something he and the Mets needed after last season. He had two errors, but we know his defense isn’t remotely an issue.
7. The HBP were a significant issue with C-flaps saving Lindor and Pete Alonso from serious injuries. And no, this was not a sticky substance issue. The Mets managed to get through that series without hitting any batters.
8. The HBP did prove an early season galvanizing moment with Buck Showalter and Jeremy Hefner leading the charge after Lindor’s HBP. It did lead to Steve Cishek‘s ejection, and we didn’t see more after that.
9. There was a lot of good with Showalter this weekend, but his issues with bullpen management and giving veterans a long leash are still present.
11. Alonso didn’t look great defensively this weekend, and that underhanded toss was something else. If he doesn’t button it back up defensively, the Mets are going to have to play Dominic Smith everyday at first. On that note, Smith was good in his game at first.
12. With respect to Alonso, he was one of two horrible sends from Joey Cora in this series. Remember, Cora was the worst third base coach in the majors last year before the Pittsburgh Pirates fired him. He got off to a very bad start to this season.
13. Eduardo Escobar looked very good in the series, and he is the early Major League leader in doubles. His defense looked better than career norms.
14. Mark Canha was excellent in the series going 7-for-10 with three walks. He also filled in as the center fielder in a pinch. Not too bad.
15. On the subject of how Mets new additions performed, Chris Bassitt was phenomenal in his start. In many ways, he could be the best addition the Mets made this offseason, and perhaps, they should be talking extension right now.
17. Overall, despite one pitch from May and the Williams meltdown, this bullpen looked good albeit without much pressure. It will be interesting to see how they fare over the course of the season.
18. Jeff McNeil is back. Not only was he 7-for-16 with a homer, three RBI, and three walks, but he showed his versatility playing left field on Opening Day. If he’s McNeil again, the Mets lineup got much deeper and more dangerous.
19. Fortunately, it appears Brandon Nimmo‘s neck is alright. After missing the opener, he was 4-for-14 with a double and triple. He also survived a collision with the outfield wall. One odd thing with him is he only walked once and struck out five times.
20. It was easy beating what promises to be a very bad Nationals team. We’re about to find out more about this team as they travel to Philadelphia against that vaunted Phillies lineup and will face old friend Zack Wheeler.