Last night, Dominic Smith made his MLB debut in Philadelphia. Was it as glorious as Mets fans had dreamed?
The New York Mets are once again fun to watch. Last night, Dominic Smith made his MLB debut in Philadelphia, and the baseball world got a sneak peek of just how bright the future is for the Mets.
Smith, alongside young teammates Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario all played huge roles in New York’s 7-6 victory over Philadelphia. Perhaps more importantly, Smith proved that the Mets should have called him up far earlier than they did.
He struck out on three pitches in the top of the second inning, chasing a 0-2 slider in his first at-bat against Phillies starter Nick Pivetta. As you’d expect, Mets fans were calm, cool and collected after Smith whiffed.
Dominic Smith strikes out on three pitches. WE WANT DUDA BACK
— Vinny Simone (@VTSimone) August 11, 2017
But everyone’s tune changed two innings later. On a 2-2 count, Smith hit a curveball from Pivetta up the middle, just out of César Hernández’s reach. The 22-year-old officially had his first major league hit.
Following his first hit, SNY’s Steve Gelbs interviewed Smith’s mother, Yvette Lafleur. She expressed how proud she is of her son when saying: “Seeing him just live out his dream, it’s just truly been a blessing.”
.@SteveGelbs’ chat with @TheRealSmith22’s mom pic.twitter.com/v9qUA3QE9Y
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) August 12, 2017
In the top of the sixth inning, Smith swung at the first pitch he saw, grounding out in his third and final at-bat. In the bottom half of the inning, Smith let an easy ground ball get past him.
While it was scored as a double by Freddy Galvis, Smith made an error, and the world knows it. Shortly thereafter, Mets manager Terry Collins removed Smith from the game in a double-switch. Wilmer Flores replaced him at first, while Asdrubal Cabrera took over for Flores at third base.
During his postgame interview, Smith openly admitted that he had some butterflies during the game. He remained honest when asked about the feelings of stepping on the field for the first time.
Dominic Smith recaps his big league debut with the Mets: pic.twitter.com/swJraW3g4a
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 12, 2017
“…Your first at-bat, your first ground ball, your first everything, you kind of…there are some nerves but, you know, right after that happens, it kind of goes away.”
Smith and Rosario have spent most of their professional careers as teammates, moving through the Mets’ farm system together. Spending five months of this season together at Triple-A Las Vegas has only strengthened their bond.
“[Dom Smith] is more than a teammate,” Rosario told the New York Post‘s Mike Puma. “I feel like he is my brother.”
Amed Rosario on Dom Smith: "More than a teammate, I feel like he is my brother."
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) August 12, 2017
The average age between Conforto, Rosario and Smith is 22 years old. This is the trio, the core that will ultimately dictate whether the Mets are contenders or pretenders for the next decade. And they’re all only going to get better as they get closer to their primes.
In most circumstances, having a roster full of veterans is beneficial. For the Mets, with a roster that’s now full of high-upside youngsters, unloading veterans is what enabled Smith and Rosario to make their MLB debuts this month.
Smith may not have lived up to the hype in his major league debut, but, after last night, it’s hard not to get excited about what lies ahead for both him and the Mets.