Megill masters Opening Day, Canó makes his mark, and the Mets earn a balanced win
The Mets offense experiences some two-out magic in their 5-1 victory. Plus, breaking down Tylor Megill's Opening Day gem.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets defeated the Nationals 5-1 on opening day in Washington (box)
OF Mark Canha and 2B/OF Jeff McNeil delivered back to back two out RBI hits in the sixth inningand 2B Robinson Canó reached base three times and scored two runs
RHP Tylor Megill was masterful, throwing five scoreless innings while allowing only three hits with six strikeouts and averaging 96.1 mph on his fastball
C James McCann was hit by a pitch twice, and Pete Alonso took one to the helmet and lip in the ninth inning - he was removed from the game as a precaution
RHP Trevor May served up a long home run to Juan Soto in the 6th to account for the Nationals’ only run
RHP Max Scherzer (hamstring tightness) said his hamstring is good to go and will make his Mets debut tonight
CF Brandon Nimmo (stiff neck) did not play on opening night but expects to return to the lineup imminently
Roster Moves 📰
The Mets acquired RHP Adonis Medina from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations — they designated RHP Yennsy Díaz for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (1-0) at Nationals (0-1)
Where: Nationals Park — Washington, DC
Starters: Max Scherzer (Mets debut) vs. Josiah Gray
When: 7:05 PM EST
Where to Watch: Apple TV+
Tylor Megill is proving he is not the odd-man out 📝
Opening Day in in Washington was supposed to feature Jacob deGrom’s triumphant return to the mound after the best pitcher on the planet missed the entire second half of 2021 with an elbow injury. But now, a stress reaction in his right scapula is significantly delaying deGrom’s return to the big league mound.
The injury came at an unfortunate time for New York’s early season rotation plans. But with the Mets rightfully showing no willingness or urgency to alter a rotation which is still being ramped up due to the shortened spring training schedule, Tylor Megill was forced to take the mound in the season opener.
Despite his lack of experience (Megill’s 89 2/3 career innings are the fewest among any Mets opening day starter in club history), the 26-year-old took full advantage of his opportunity.
Megill fired five scoreless innings, scattering only three Washington hits while striking out six and allowing no walks. But perhaps his best moment came in the 3rd inning, as that frame could have easily unfolded much differently.
That it didn’t was truly an eye opener about what Megill could ultimately be for this team in 2022.
An infield single by Cesar Hernandez gave Nationals superstar Juan Soto a first and third with one out opportunity to break a scoreless tie. Walking Soto would’ve loaded the bases for Nelson Cruz. The three most dangerous hitters on the opposite team were lined up to hit in a game breaking spot.
Megill has long been praised for his unflappability, and as Buck Showalter likes to say ‘his low heart rate’. Showing rock solid poise, Megill went right after Soto, ultimately striking out the all-star on a high fastball, pinning Escobar at 3rd with two outs. He then fell behind Cruz 2-0 before fighting back in the count with a right on right change-up - a pitch most young pitchers wouldn’t dream of throwing down in the count. Cruz ultimately bounced into an inning ending force out.
Megill wouldn’t allow another baserunner the rest of his night.
“He was electric,” first baseman Pete Alonso said of Megill. “He had a lot of poise, a lot of moxie. He pitched incredible tonight, and having him set the tone like that on Opening Night? That was awesome. We needed that.”
When Megill debuted last summer he appeared to be a revelation. Across one three start stretch in July he allowed just a single run in 17.1 innings. Down the stretch though the amount of innings he was racking up clearly took a toll. Heading into camp the Mets’ thinking was that if everyone was healthy he would join the likes of David Peterson and Trevor Williams in providing experienced rotation depth at Triple-A Syracuse. Megill did not allow a run in 6.2 spring training innings this March, but without deGrom’s injury he still would have begun the season in Syracuse.
Let’s not overreact to one outing, but the Mets might need to re-evaluate their early opinion of their big right hander. Aside from the poise and demeanor, Megill’s average fastball velocity ticked up to 96.1 mph last night, often sitting between 97-99 mph in the early innings. He’s now pretty clearly going to get a steady run in this rotation, and if he continues to impress, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
The hope deGrom will return in June, but they still have questions in the back of their rotation. The hope is Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker stay healthy and are both adequately holding down 40% of this starting staff while providing quality innings over the course of the season. Maybe they will.
Regardless, if deGrom comes back and everyone else is healthy and throwing well it will be a good problem to have. And Megill is well on his way to proving that he should not ultimately be the odd-man out.
Around the League 🚩
The Padres traded RHP Chris Paddack and RHP Emilio Pagán to Minnesota in exchange for LHP Taylor Rogers and OF Brent Rooker (Passan)
The Cardinals blanked the Pirates 9-0 behind Adam Wainwright
Royals’ uber prospect Bobby Witt Jr.’s first MLB hit was a go ahead double in the 8th inning of KC’s win over Cleveland
The Braves lost 6-3 to the Reds, while the Marlins and Phillies were off
The Yankees-Red Sox and Mariners-Twins Opening Day tilts were rained out
RHP Yu Darvish no-hit the Diamondbacks over six innings in San Diego’s dramatic last inning loss to Arizona
RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani struck out nine Astros across 4.2 innings but left on the short side of a 1-0 score