Lindor goes yard twice, Bassitt rolls and Tom Seaver is honored in the Citi Field opener
The Mets offense explodes as they honor Tom Seaver in their home opener. Plus, Francisco Lindor is primed to channel Carlos Beltrán.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets defeated Arizona 10-3 in their home opener on Friday afternoon (box)
Prior to the game, New York unveiled the long awaited statue of the late Tom Seaver outside of Citi Field
SS Francisco Lindor homered from both sides of the plate in the club’s blowout victory over the D-backs
RHP Chris Bassitt went six innings and allowed just a run on two hits en route to his 2nd victory in as many starts
2B Robinson Canó hit his first home run since September 22, 2020
Starling Marte had three more hits including his first Mets home run — a three-run blast that turned the game into a laugher in the 8th inning
LHP David Peterson will start on Sunday in place of the injured Taijuan Walker, the team announced
The Mets were revealed to be experiencing a COVID outbreak on their staff with some players coming as close contacts
Roster Moves 📰
Prior to the game on Friday, the Mets placed outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha on the COVID-19 list and replaced them on the active roster with OF Nick Plummer and INF Matt Reynolds
Francisco Lindor delivered his 3rd multi-homer game as a Met on Friday
Chris Bassitt has won each of his first Mets starts and has a 0.75 ERA
Pete Alonso has driven in seven runs in his last two games and leads the National League in RBI with 12 total
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (6-2) vs. D-backs (2-5)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, NY
Starters: Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. Zac Gallen (2022 debut)
When: 1:10 PM EST
Where to Watch: SNY, MLB Network
Francisco Lindor is ready to take a Carlos Beltrán-esque leap in year two in Queens 📝
When the Mets traded for superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor last offseason, the parallels to a high-profile addition the club made 16 years earlier were obvious.
Carlos Beltrán came to Queens as a free agent in 2005 while Lindor was acquired via a trade with Cleveland, but both players came in as high-profile names expected to reenergize this organization. They were both 27-years-old when they first suited up for the Mets and both switch hitters in their primes with All-Star resumes already under their belt. And if the first week of 2022 is any indication, they’re going to have another thing in common in just a few months.
When Beltrán first came to New York, it was easy to see the market was a little overwhelming at first, especially after coming from Kansas City and Houston. He didn’t have a terrible year, but his .266 batting average, 16 homers, and 78 RBI were all his lowest career totals in a full season. Beltran did make the All-Star team that year, but often appeared to put too much pressure on himself to live up to his big contract and help return the Mets to relevancy.
Lindor and his infectious smile captivated New York’s fanbase from the moment he arrived, but the honeymoon was somewhat short lived. He got off to a dreadful start, and on May 27th was still hitting just .187. He was also engaged in some controversy with the “rat/raccoon” incident that did not go over well with some fans and the infamously stupid “thumbs down” moment with Javier Báez later in the summer. Over the season’s final four months he performed closer to his career norms, but it just wasn’t enough to dig him out of the gigantic hole he fell into early. Lindor’s .230/.322/.412 slash line was easily the worst of his career and while he hit 20 homers, that was a drop off as well, as he’d crushed over 32 in each of the previous three full seasons. Over that same period he’d doubled over 40 times in each of those season, but registered just 16 in his first year with the Mets.
In 2006, Beltrán’s second year, he was a different player from the jump. He raised his on-base percentage 58 points from the year prior and impressively bumped his slugging percentage 180 points. Most importantly though, Beltrán crushed 41 home runs — tying the club’s single season record at the time. In totality, the rebounding Beltrán hit .275/.388/.594 with a .982 OPS, 150 OPS+, 80 extra-base hits and 116 RBI while earning another trip to the All-Star Game, winning Silver Slugger award and a Gold Glove awards, and helping lead the Mets to an MLB-best 97-65 record. And despite a disappointing ending to the campaign in October involving a called third strike, his New York tenure was off and running.
Right here, right now is Lindor on the brink of delivering his own version of Beltran’s 2006 season? At the risk of overreacting to an eight-game sample size, that answer could very well be “yes.” In his first 27 at-bats Lindor is slashing .296/.457/.704, his extra-base pop appears to have returned as he’s already crushed three homers (something he didn’t do until the team’s 33rd game last season) and he’s driven in seven runs, scored eight, stolen a pair of bases, and is on-pace to rack up 384 total bases.
To be succinct, in a short burst Lindor has been everything the Mets thought they were getting when they pulled the trigger on the blockbuster trade. And if he is now fully comfortable and can keep up this level of play that we’ve seen from him multiple times in Cleveland, and can follow Beltrán’s example, the Mets will be a force to be reckoned with for the next several years.
Around the League 🚩
The Orioles placed LHP John Means on the 10-day injured list with an elbow strain—though it sounds like he’ll be out much longer (Baltimore Sun)
Twins star CF Byron Buxton left Friday’s game in Boston with a knee injury and will undergo an MRI (Twins Daily)
The Phillies dropped their 4th straight game, falling to the Marlins 7-1 in Miami
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched his league leading 5th homer in Toronto’s win over the Athletics
DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani hit his first two home runs of the season, leading the Angels to a 9-6 win in Texas