The Mets arrived at Citi Field on getaway day with one of two options: finish their first 2023 homestand off on a solid note, or head west with a sour taste in their mouth.
Thankfully for New York — and everyone in attendance — the Amazins choose Door Number 1. The squad’s 5-2 win over the Padres secured a 4-2 homestand. It was also proof of the Mets passing their first test of the year against a perceived World Series contender.
This win is even better because of what’s ahead. New York is off Thursday before starting a 10-game road trip out west, which will begin against the Oakland Athletics on Friday. It wouldn’t have been fun to lose the rubber match with all that time before their next game, right? Right.
While we wait for the Mets to take the field at RingCentral Coliseum, here are 15 takeaways from their series win against San Diego. Essentially, welcome to my stream of consciousness while I watch/follow the Mets. Enjoy.
– Man, Max Scherzer needed that bounce-back performance. It wasn’t necessarily a dominant one, but hey, he needed to right the ship somehow. He had been bitten by the home run ball in his first two starts, so to go five scoreless while allowing one hit against a potent Padres lineup is good enough for me.
– Yu Darvish actually is human at Citi Field. Heading into this start, he owned a 2.00 ERA and 32 strikeouts across 27 innings in Flushing. He allowed five runs in 6.1 innings on Monday night, which was more than he allowed in three combined starts against the Mets in 2022.
– New York even got to Blake Snell! The southpaw allowed four runs (three earned) across five innings. He couldn’t hold the early 2-0 lead handed to him in the top of the first inning.
– That Game 1 victory was defined by clutch two-out hits: one from Francisco Lindor and another from Jeff McNeil. The Mets will have one of baseball’s best middle infields again this year.
– New York’s seventh-inning rally in Game 1 was punctuated by the perfect bunt from Luis Guillorme, as well as the perfect swinging bunt from Tomas Nido down the third-base line.
Sometimes, it just ain’t about how hard you hit the ball. #Mets #LGM (via @SNYtv) pic.twitter.com/Dww5LP3AHA
— Matt Musico (@mmusico8) April 11, 2023
– Brandon Nimmo loves the new rules. He’s already stolen three bags this year. He needed just 10 games to match his 2022 total, which he accumulated in 151 games.
– We all miss Edwin Diaz. It’ll be great if he actually beats his current timeline and makes it back to the mound before 2023 is in the books. But heck, how great has David Robertson been to start his Mets career?! He’s been unscored upon in his first 6.1 innings while racking up two saves. Robertson also gave us his best Diaz impression by coming into Wednesday’s game with two outs in the seventh and tossing 1.1 frames to build a bridge to Adam Ottavino.
– Speaking of Ottavino, he may have the hardest non-Narco entrance song of any Mets reliever this season.
This is a sick entrance. #Mets #LGM pic.twitter.com/BZzCS24FoT
— Matt Musico (@mmusico8) April 11, 2023
– Francisco Alvarez doesn’t look comfortable in the batter’s box. However, he’s only appeared in two games since getting promoted ahead of last week’s home opener. If Nido gives the Mets a better chance to win right now, that’s fine. If that’s true, then why is he in the majors in the first place? Soaking things in as a big leaguer has its benefits, but New York has made it very clear they want him to play consistently. So, this situation makes no sense.
– It’s very exciting when your squad loads the bases. And it’s deflating when they come away empty-handed. That happened in each of the last two games against San Diego… in the first inning. Thankfully, the Mets were able to overcome that in the finale.
The Mets are 2-for-14 this year with the bases loaded pic.twitter.com/L1zIdGgTDw
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) April 12, 2023
– The rubber match dominance continues! The Mets were 18-4 in rubber matches during the 2022 season. Wednesday’s game against San Diego was their first opportunity to keep the good vibes rolling in 2023. That’s exactly what they did.
– Baseball is a funny game. When camp broke in Port St. Lucie, Tylor Megill was slated to be the Opening Day starter in Triple-A. He never made that appearance because of Justin Verlander’s injury. After a gutsy performance against San Diego, he’s now 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA through 16 innings in the big leagues.
– I love Eduardo Escobar. But him playing third base every day instead of Brett Baty is just criminal at this point. The top prospect has a 1.196 OPS through 27 at-bats in Syracuse. Meanwhile, Escobar’s OPS in the big leagues is .348. And no, that’s not a typo. We knew New York’s reasoning for sending Baty to Triple-A was bologna, but it’s looking worse and worse the longer they keep him there.
– We might have a bromance brewing between assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske and designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, and I’m here for it.
An Eric Hinske-Daniel Vogelbach bromance is exactly what I need right now. #Mets #LGM pic.twitter.com/IVfygo2EQv
— Matt Musico (@mmusico8) April 12, 2023
– Pete Alonso has six homers and 12 RBI through his first 55 plate appearances this year. He had four homers and 17 RBI by the end of April last year (84 plate appearances).
POLAR POWER 🐻❄️
Pete Alonso's 6th home run of the year gives the Mets the lead! pic.twitter.com/Sb9jnz94nS
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 12, 2023
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.