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Max Scherzer, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil all shine on opening day, and the Mets lost another starting pitcher
The Mets bullpen passes its first test, and Justin Verlander will miss some time with a pulled muscle
What’s Up with the Mets?
The Mets beat the Marlins 5-3 on opening day (Box)
It was New York’s 41st win in their last 53 opening days
Brandon Nimmo drove in three runs and had the biggest hit of the game—a two run double off lefty Tanner Scott in the seventh
Max Scherzer held the Marlins scoreless over the first five before allowing three extra base hits in the sixth including a Garrett Cooper game trying home run
Reigning batting champ Jeff McNeil had two hits and an RBI
Every Mets starter reached base at least once
Drew Smith worked around a leadoff double to pitch a scoreless seventh inning
Brooks Raley was impressive in his Mets debut in a perfect eighth inning
Pushed into the closer’s role by the injury to Edwin Diaz, David Robertson fired a perfect ninth with two strikeouts
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Justin Verlander was placed on the IL with a low grade teres major strain
RHP Bryce Montes de Oca underwent surgery to remove loose bodies in his elbow and it was determined during the surgery that he required Tommy John surgery as well - he will miss the entire season
Roster Moves 📰
Tylor Megill will be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, and start Saturday against the Marlins in place of Justin Verlander
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets vs. Marlins
Where: loanDepot Park - Miami, FL
Starters: LHP David Peterson vs. LHP Jesus Luzardo
When: 6:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Mets bullpen passes first test in life without the trumpets✍🏻
Anyone with anything invested in the success of the New York Mets is well aware that things will be significantly more challenging for this team without having the luxury of Edwin Díaz at the end of games.
Last season, Buck Showalter was essentially able to play eight inning games, and when the starters were consistently going six strong innings it made the Mets incredibly difficult to beat with Díaz casting a dark shadow over the opposing team’s dugout. Over the winter, New York added late inning arms David Robertson and Brooks Raley to bulk up their relief corps ahead of Díaz, and three weeks ago the unit looked like one hell of a strength.
But removing Diaz from the equation changes things dramatically.
I felt like the way the late innings played out on opening day provided a glimpse at the way Showalter and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner plan to navigate their new unforeseen circumstance.
Righty Drew Smith, who had been slated to pitch in the middle innings, has been pushed a spot up the depth chart and found himself on the mound in the seventh inning as the first guy out of the bullpen. He was greeted with a ringing double by Jorge Soler but recovered nicely, getting a lazy fly ball from Avisail Garcia and then blowing away both Bryan De La Cruz and Jacob Stallings.
In the eighth, the Mets were prepared to go to either Raley or Adam Ottavino depending on where Miami was in the lineup. With a pair of lefties lined up to begin the inning, Showalter went to Raley who came through in a big way while striking out his first two batters before retiring Mets nemesis Jean Segura on a ground ball to end the inning.
Carrying a 5-3 lead into the ninth, the Mets summoned Robertson who, with 157 Major League saves on his resume, was the obvious first choice to replace Díaz in the ninth inning. Facing the heart of the Marlins’ lineup, Robertson struck out Garrett Cooper and Jazz Chisholm Jr. before getting Soler to fly out to right to end the game.
When it was over, New York was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Team brass is confident that even without Díaz, they’ve still got enough in the bullpen to have a successful season, or at least buy them time until the trade deadline at which point they should be able to fill their need in the back of the bullpen. But it was still nice to watch the plan B formula work in a game that mattered.
Where this bullpen is going to be most tested is towards the bottom of the depth chart. In games when the starters are unable to get deep and somebody is needed to pitch out of a mess in the fourth or fifth inning, names like Stephen Nogosek and John Curtiss are going to be called upon in big spots and asked to step up into higher leverage roles. Three weeks ago the guy entering in those situations was going to be Smith. Now that things have been reshuffled some lesser known names are going to have to step up.
Worrying about how that will all play out over the course of 162 games will be an ongoing saga. But for one day at least, all was good in Mets land.
Around the League 🚩
RHP Jacob deGrom struggled in his Rangers debut, allowing five runs in 3.2 in Texas wild 11-7 win over the Phillies
Aaron Judge homered in his first AB of 2023 to help the Yankees down the Giants 5-0
Adley Rutschman went 5-5 with four RBI in Baltimore’s opening day win in Boston
RHP Pablo Lopez and four Twins relievers shut out the Royals 2-0
LHP Max Fried left Atlanta’s opening day win in D.C. with a tight hamstring and will miss at least one start
Former Mets RHP Marcus Stroman went six scoreless innings in the Cubs win over Milwaukee
Andrew Vaughn delivered a huge two run double in the 9th inning to help the White Sox outlast the Astros 3-2