Friday, July 24, 2020

A Perfectly Scripted Win

As is often the case on Opening Day, today was a good day to be a Mets fan. Other than the fact that I'd like to see a little more offense, I doubt if I could have scripted this afternoon's game any better. deGrom was solid for five innings, the bullpen pitched well, and Yoenis Céspedes crushed a badly located fastball to provide the Mets all of the offense they would need.

My day started out well before the game got underway when I saw that Robinson Cano was batting sixth. I don't know if the decision was all Luis Rojas's or if there was input from upstairs, but it was absolutely the right move. That's where Cano should bat in the order unless he turns it around and earns a better spot in the order. It sets the right kind of tone for the team, and shows there's a sense of urgency for this season.

Once the Mets got the lead, Rojas didn't hesitate to put Andres Gimenez into the game at 2B in place of Cano. He also pulled J.D. Davis out of the game, putting Jake Marisnick in to play CF and moving Nimmo to left. The Mets aren't the greatest defensively, and those were the right moves to make, but I was pleasantly surprise that Luis Rojas didn't defer to the fact that Cano was once a Golden Glove caliber second baseman. Giminez rewarded his manager with a really nice defensive play, too.

If the Mets are going to make a run this season, it will likely be because their bullpen lives up to its potential. It certainly did today. Seth Lugo did what he does, giving them a couple of strong innings in relief of deGrom. The Rojas surprised me by putting Justin Wilson in for the eighth rather than using Betances or Familia. Wilson looked good in the second half last season, and got off to a good start today with a pair of strikeouts The Mets really do have some depth in the bullpen this season.

Then Edwin Diaz came into the game in the ninth and looked like a closer, also striking out a pair and showing a real good slider along with his usual fastball. His strong performance capped what could be the blueprint for future Mets wins. And they still have a fresh Betances and Familia for tomorrow's game.

Just one other note on this game. The Mets got a call overturned at second base when Jeff McNeill was originally ruled out on a play that I could see he was clearly safe before they even showed the replay. The umpire, Carlos Torres, got himself into perfect position to make the call and then blew what should have been a fairly easy one. As Keith said during the review, "get an eyechart." As annoying as video reviews can be sometimes, it's nice when a really bad call can be fixed.

Man, it's great to be writing about a real ballgame again!

I'm going to bed tonight and dream happy dreams tonight. Please stay safe, be well and take care. Let's go Mets!

 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

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