The first Mets-Marlins series of the 2023 season is officially in the books. After winning 13 of 19 head-to-head matchups last year, New York is off to yet another dominant start by taking three of four in Miami.
Outside of the bats going silent in a 2-1 loss on Friday, manager Buck Showalter’s club was mostly in control. The Mets’ Opening Day dominance continued, and the rotation performed admirably without Justin Verlander.
Before heading home to Citi Field, the Amazins are making a quick three-game stop in Wisconsin to face the Milwaukee Brewers. Before the first pitch is thrown on Monday afternoon, though, here are four takeaways from their season-opening series win.
Bullpen performed great. The Marlins’ offense was among baseball’s worst in 2022. They made additions (like trading for Luis Arraez) and hope to improve. But even without Edwin Diaz locking down the end of games, the Mets’ bullpen looked terrific.
As a group, Showalter’s relief corps tossed 13.2 innings. They allowed just one earned run on eight hits, three walks, and 15 strikeouts. The lone run was a Jazz Chisolm Jr. homer off John Curtiss in New York’s Game 2 loss. David Robertson picked up his only save opportunity in the opener, and a total of seven hurlers appeared in a game while not getting scored upon.
The defense stepped up. The Mets scored at least five runs in all three of their wins. However, the Marlins never scored more than three runs and were held to two or fewer on three occasions. New York put together a bunch of sterling defensive plays, including five double plays.
None were bigger than this play from Francisco Lindor, which bailed Tylor Megill out of a jam on Saturday:
Still thinking about this play from Lindor yesterday. Made it look routine when it was anything but that. #Mets #LGM pic.twitter.com/LZrTT8gaFR
— Matt Musico (@mmusico8) April 2, 2023
Starling Marte also helped Kodai Senga get out of a first-inning jam on Sunday with a nice catch, which the rookie hurler was appreciative of.
Big production from (somewhat) unexpected places. The Mets have plenty of players on their roster expected to be among the best producers in baseball. But New York can only lean on them so much. It takes a full roster of dudes to have consistent success.
After splitting the first two games, the Amazins took control with a 6-2 victory on Saturday. Part of that was because of Mark Canha, who was a triple short of the cycle during a three-hit, two-RBI day at the dish:
Mark Canha didn’t hit his first homer of 2022 until his 17th game. Getting a little headstart in 2023. #Mets #LGM pic.twitter.com/TeAg9dFKHs
— Matt Musico (@mmusico8) April 1, 2023
During the 5-1 series finale win, it was Tommy Pham’s turn to put up big numbers. He played center field and led off in place of Brandon Nimmo, who had a scheduled rest day. With new contacts in his eyes, Pham also fell a triple short of the cycle amid his own three-hit, three-RBI day. It included his first homer as a Met, too:
TOMMY PHAM LAUNCHES ONE! pic.twitter.com/bhIBUCj55b
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 2, 2023
The clock is ticking on Eduardo Escobar. We’re fans of Eduardo Escobar the human around the parts. I still think he has value to the club over the course of this season. But who are we kidding here with him starting at third base in the big leagues over Brett Baty?
Escobar is now 1-for-14 to start the year and will get the day off on Monday in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Baty was busy ripping the cover off the ball and making excellent plays in the field during Opening Weekend for the Syracuse Mets.
It’s only a matter of time before something changes there. The fans know it, so does Escobar, and so do the Mets. If things keep trending the way they are, it’ll hopefully be sooner rather than later.
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You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.