Going into the season with high hopes, the 2020 New York Mets hoped to perform well under the required circumstances due to COVID-19.
Although playing the NL East favorite Atlanta Braves, the Mets proved their ability to win a ballgame in an all around great game by both the coaching staff and the players.
The first person that must be attributed for the outcome of this game is first-year manager Luis Rojas.
Many were upset with Rojas after he claimed that second baseman veteran, Robinson Canó, could and most likely would hit at the three spot for the beginning of the season.
That decision soon proved to be a poor one after hitting 1/6 in the club’s spring training scrimmages against their crosstown rival, the New York Yankees.
After these events occurred, Rojas constructed the lineup that most fans hoped to see, with Canó hitting at the 6 spot.
Even with a pitch count limit due to back tightness, two-time Cy Young winner Jacob DeGrom proved that he can still dominate elite competition.
DeGrom allowed only 1 hit and struck eight out in only five innings. Unfortunately, he exited during a tie game, resulting in a no decision, an outcome DeGrom is very familiar with.
While the bats were not TOTALLY alive for the Mets today, they got the job done. Leadoff batter Brandon Nimmo batted .500 today with 2 singles, with a knock each from Jeff McNeil, Yoenis Céspedes, Robinson Canó, and Amed Rosario.
The at bat that would change the game for the Mets was a complete moonshot by Céspedes in the 7th inning off of Braves’ reliever, Chris Martin. This is a great sign for Mets’ fans, as the team would benefit greatly from Yo returning to his 2015 form.
With DeGrom coming out in the fifth inning, the fate of the game was left to the primary reason as to why the Mets could not compete: the bullpen.
Perhaps the club’s most reliable reliever in 2o19, Seth Lugo, came in to pitch both innings six and seven, allowing only 1 hit, while striking out three.
Although we did see newly acquired arm Dellin Betances warming up during Lugo’s innings, southpaw Justin Wilson took the mound for the eighth inning. He too allowed only 1 hit, while striking out 2.
That left the closer to shut the gate, Edwin Díaz. Speaking for all Mets’ fans, there is no feeling to describe watching Díaz attempt to put away a game except for nervous.
Nervous that Ozzie Albies would get on. Nervous that Freddie Freeman would blast one out of the park to give the Braves the lead. Nervous that once again the lead would slip away.
Luckily the improbable occurred, and Díaz was able to give the Mets’ their first win of the 2020 season.
All looks well for this club, and if they can keep this up, there is no limit to what they can achieve.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac / Newsday