Welcome to the least well-known tradition on this site. The Mets have begun their march towards October baseball or depending on how you look at it, the Mets are beginning their yearly slog towards irrelevancy in September. Either way, this is the moment to be hopeful and optimistic! There’s nowhere to go but up! So let’s overreact to Opening Day.
Gary, Keith and Ron are the GOATs
There is no better booth in the business, and as ESPN reminds us there’s nothing like a broadcast team that understands the ins-and-outs of a team. Seriously, the difference in the #OpeningNight broadcast versus this one was night and day. It’s crazy to me that ESPN can’t get a hold on how to broadcast a baseball game.
And the SNY Booth just dunks all over them. The SNY Booth is a podcast, and they’re the best in the business.
The Lineup is Perfect
This is the dream lineup that we’ve been waiting for.
It is dangerous from top to bottom. There’s speed and power woven throughout without a real weak spot. If there is a weak spot, it’s at the very top and the very bottom, but the great news there is that you can easily swap Rosario and Nimmo in the lineup, and break up the monotony.
However, I don’t really love McNeil batting second for the same reasons the booth brought up in his first at-bat. With McNeil’s penchant for swinging at the first pitch, and his insane success doing so, doesn’t that negate the need for having a leadoff hitter with speed? That’s exactly what happened in the fourth inning as the Mets lineup turned over.
McNeil had an OPS north of 1.300 on first pitches in 2019. Is that worth having Nimmo’s speed ahead of him? It’s too early to tell, but that’s something to keep an eye on.
The addition of Cespedes as DH is great. It’s been far too long since he’s stepped into the box at Citi Field. To be completely honest, I’m not holding my breath when it comes to Yo’s production coming off his year of health issues. This can be a way for him to work his way back into the lineup without asking him to pull his weight in the field. Perfect. Wonderful. Especially given the outfield depth the Mets currently have.
And if he’s only able to play at 80%, that’s going to be interesting moving forward. No other player is trying to regain their footing more than Cespedes. That’s a fact.
And that long bomb to left field is definitely a good sign.
Jacob deGrom is Unreal
Jacob deGrom picked up where he left off in 2019, by blowing away an elite hitter with his nasty stuff. This guy just continues to be otherworldly.
Go back and watch that first at-bat against Acuña. Jacob deGrom absolutely overpowers him with 99 MPH heat. And the pitch that got him swinging was 99 MPH and right down the middle. Just overpowering stuff from deGrom.
Add that to his 93 MPH Slider and 91 MPH Changeup, and things get very interesting for opposing hitters. It’s Jacob deGrom’s world, y’all. We should just be happy to live in it.
Now, if only he can get some damn run support, that’d be great.
I know that still seems like a joke, but deGrom tossed 5 innings of 1-hit, 1-walk, shutout baseball striking out 8 Braves, pushing his streak of scoreless innings to 28. NO DECISION. What more do you need the man to do? MLB took the bat out of his hand, so it’s not like he can do it himself. What more can Jacob deGrom do to get some damn run support? Come on.
Pete Alonso is Garbage
Pete Alonso has looked like trash so far this season and that’s not good enough. If he doesn’t hit 57 home runs this season, then we should trade him to the Padres for Wil Myers.
Did you get that out of your system? Good.
Pete Alonso is probably going to backslide this season and what better year to do it than this one. Personally, I’m totally okay with that. As of right now, the Polar Bear has not hit a home run in 2020. That’s tough to see. But if anything, with this weird shortened season, I’d rather he get his sophomore slump out of the way now.
Luis Rojas is a Breath of Fresh Air
In the third inning, deGrom was facing Ozzie Albies with Acuña on first. The first pitch was a pitchout, hoping to catch the 2019 NL-leader in steals on the move. Gary noted that “we haven’t seen a lot of those in a while,” and he’s right. Think about that. When was the last time you saw a pitchout from the Mets? I can’t remember one.
Possibly because of how hyper aware they are of pitch counts and the widespread inability to throw runners out, the Mets saw them as a waste fo a pitch. If the guy at first is going to get to second anyway, why go behind in the count to begin the at-bat?
Instead, Rojas saw the value of keeping Acuña honest. Hopefully, we see more of that kind of thinking moving forward. Let’s get weird, Rojas!
The Mets are Contenders
This is one is cheating. With the MLB Playoffs expanding to include half the teams in the league, everyone is a contender if you get hot at the right time. With this lineup and the potential this pitching staff has, the Mets have all the pieces to make a push for the postseason. They simply cannot afford to get underwater at any point this season.
Easier said than done, but if you can’t put together at least 30 wins in 60 games, you weren’t gonna do it in the first 60 of a 162 game season either.
Thank God. Baseball in Queens in BACK!
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