Posted by Thomas Brennan at 8:00 AM
Home opener! Baseball is back. PLAY BALL!
The Mets were facing a rebuilding Atlanta team that hopes to be competitive in 2017.
The Braves went 9-22 in pre-season and sported a 5.11 ERA. The team’s bad ERA was largely due to the elderly duo of Dickey and Colon, who allowed 38 runs (earned and unearned) in 41 IP.
Starting the opener was Julio Tejeran, who in 4 spring starts compiled a 2.81 ERA. He ain’t chump change, especially when he's not down by the schoolyard, having compiled a 47-40, 3.39 career to date before turning 27. Not to mention a 5 inning, 1 run start in the WBC this spring.
The Mets, of course, had the Mighty Thor starting, who some argue may be the best starting pitcher in baseball in 2017.
So how did it turn out? I know some of you spent opening day in Siberia, where there is no wifi, so here goes:
Well, sadly, a no decision for Thor, who was great through 6, allowing no runs, but getting no support, either, despite getting one of the Mets 4 hits while he was in the game. Thor totally dominated everyone not named Freddie Freeman, who may be a Top 5 hitter in this game: FF had a single and triple off Syndergaard in 3 at bats, after a 23 for 47 spring.
Tejeran was almost as good, with 6 scoreless, and departed with nearly 100 pitches.
Seventh inning, and Hansel Robles continues like he did in spring training - real good. Almost a fairy tale story, according to Gretel.
Atlanta tapped their bullpen for the bottom of the 7th, as Teheran was close to 100 pitches. Yeah, baby.
VERY different results, aided by a very Mets play, with Wilmer Flores out trying to score, but the decision was successfully appealed by resident genius Terry Collins to make it 1-0. It is the type of play that if you asked me, did this happen for the Yanks or the Mets, I'd immediately say, definitely the Mets. This kind of intriguing stuff is a Mets trademark. Floodgates suddenly opened.
A Granderson sac fly made it 2-0, and brought in an old friend, Eric O'Flaherty, who walked 2 to drive in a 3rd run, and then got clocked for a 3 run, game-breaking double by the Dude, Lucas Duda!!! The Hefty Lefty got a hit off a lefty, a mighty big one.
Salas sailed through the 8th, but Rob Gsellman immediately surrendered a double to Kemp and a single to Freddie Frickin' Freeman (.750) to open the 9th. But The Human Gazelle fanned his next batter and induced a GIDP to allow the folks to go home HAPPY.
SIX TO NUTTIN'. Books closed, case closed.
The HUNDRED WIN EXPRESS successfully arrived at its first destination...somewhere, Jose Reyes is SMILING!
However, yesterday, a NJ train had a "minor derailment" and messed up the evening rush. That late day stuff is anathema to commuters.
Well, late yesterday, we learn Seth Lugo has a potentially serious elbow injury, and is getting a second opinion...and our lefty Steve, less durable than a guy named Steve Carlton, has a strained flexor tendon in the elbow and is likely out as a starter until mid-May.
So, the question: has Brennan's HUNDRED WIN EXPRESS had a minor derailment or a major one after just GAME 1 OF 162?
We still have 6 starters who collectively are as good as any team's, but the margin for error (given Wheeler and Harvey's recent health histories) has narrowed significantly. We'll see how it goes, but we'll just keep going out there to PLAY BALL!
Final note: with Lugo down, will Paul Sewald finally make his major league debut?