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Tylor Megill shines, Mets power up while taking a walk in the park in a convincing win over the Marlins
The Mets drew 12 walks and hit three home runs in a laugher in their home opener
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets defeated the Marlins 9-3 in their home opener on Friday to end their three-game losing streak (Box)
Tylor Megill gave the Mets six scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and two walks
The Mets drew 12 walks and hit three home runs against the Marlins, with Brandon Nimmo taking four of those free passes, the first time he has walked four times in his career and his ten walks on the season lead the majors
Pete Alonso hit his fourth home run of the season - he now has eight RBI in the season’s first eight games
Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte also homered - it was their first home runs of the season
Injury Updates 🏥
Justin Verlander (teres major strain) expects to pitch before the end of April
Pete Alonso… 📓
Hit his 150th home run in his 538th career game on Friday - he is the second-fastest player to reach the 150 home run mark (Ryan Howard, 495 games)
Alonso passed Carlos Beltrán for sixth-place all-time on the Mets career homer list, and is four away from tying Dave Kingman for fifth
He leads Aaron Judge by 11 home runs for the most hit in the major leagues since the start of the 2019 season
His 24 home runs against the Marlins are the most in MLB against any single opponent since 2019
🎺🎺 Cue the trumpets! 🎺🎺
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets vs. Marlins
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Kodai Senga vs. LHP Trevor Rogers
When: 4:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets got the (somewhat) relaxing win they needed… ✍🏻
The Mets came limping home on Wednesday night after what can only be described as an utter beatdown at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers having to ramp up for their home opener on Thursday at Citi Field. But they were, “rained out” on a beautiful 80 degree-ish day in New York, getting the day off and being forced to play instead on a gray, 50 degree-ish day on Friday.
But the pomp and circumstance before the game was just as spectacular as it would’ve been under the sun on Thursday, highlighted by an appearance from Edwin Díaz who drew a loud applause from his home club, the home crowd as well as the Marlins.
Then came the game. A game the Mets needed to win to settle some chaos and to help their psyche. They had been blown out of and outplayed - as Francisco Lindor put it - by Milwaukee earlier this week, having been outscored 26-6 at American Family Field and looking every bit as incompetent on both sides of the ball.
The Mets looked refreshed. They looked energized, they looked like what they needed was a day off after that Brewers series.
Maybe the Mets knew what they were doing when they rained the game out on Thursday?
The Mets looked faster - they stole three bases on the afternoon. In fact, Brandon Nimmo has three stolen bases on the year already, matching his mark from 2022.
They pitched better - the Big Drip stopped the leaking with the pitching staff with six very strong innings, looking more like the Tylor Megill that offered so much promise last April and less like the one who, at times, didn’t know where the ball was going out of his hand since.
The Mets powered up - homers from Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso offered a breath of fresh air for an offense that came in last in the league in hitting and is getting back on-track.
Put that all together, and the Mets got a (mostly) relaxed 9-3 win over the bottom-feeding Marlins who themselves didn’t know where the ball was going out of the pitchers hands. The Mets drew 12 walks and took advantage, getting themselves the laugher they needed after a very concerning week in Milwaukee.
The Big Drip adjusted…
This was a big and important step for Tylor Megill’s retraining as a starting pitcher. Recall last week I spoke about Megill needing to learn to pitch leveraging lesser stuff than he is capable of having in an effort to maintain both his in-game stamina and long-term health. He used a lot of breaking balls in his first start against Miami, didn’t have a lot of command of those pitches, yet still managed to fight his way through five effective innings.
On Friday, he shifted his strategy to a more fastball-centric approach, and did a good job changing speeds on that pitch as well. He averaged 94 mph with his fastball but showed an ability to power it up when needed, then effectively used his secondary pitches in a way he couldn’t in his first start.
The Mets don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing Megill’s opponents at the moment, but he will have his better outings against righty-heavy lineups. The Mets will have to decide what to do with Megill and David Peterson when Justin Verlander returns, but perhaps that will be a matchup-by-matchup situation for them. We shall see.
Walks in the park…
Miami certainly made it a little easier on the Mets by issuing 12 walks on Friday. As I always tell my little league teams, a walk is as good as a hit: just get on-base. The Mets have done that over the first week despite the brownout when actually swinging the bat. The Mets have a 13.1 percent walk rate, third-best in the majors and the 40 walks they’ve drawn are the second-most in the majors.
This is going to be a trademark for this offense once they do get going on all cylinders. They see a lot of pitches, wear opposing starters down, and get into bullpens very quickly, especially with the advent of the pitch clock which is clearly draining the stamina of starting pitchers all around baseball.
Through the first five games, the Mets hit three home runs, one from Mark Canha, one from Tommy Pham and the other Pete Alonso. They’ve hit five home runs in their last two games. So maybe the tide is turning with the offense from a power perspective?
Well, Alonso has four of the team’s eight home runs, so there’s an imbalance in the distribution of their power over the first week.
That takes nothing away from how awesome Alonso is, of course. The Mets need to figure out how to sign him long-term and make him a Met-for-Life.
The game did have its share of concerns, of course. The Mets only went 6-for-28 at the plate, went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and did leave nine runners on-base. There are still these gaps in the lineup which are hampering their ability to move runners around the bases, and if Alonso and Lindor aren’t hitting, it makes it that much more difficult.
There’s also the situation at third base with Eduardo Escobar which didn’t get much better on Friday and only made the questions there even louder. He is 2-for-24 at the plate to start the season with a swing that looks something similar to that mark on both sides of the plate.
By the way…
On a side note, by today’s standards, the game took a long time thanks to the billions of walks issued - three hours, one minute. But honestly, while I like the speed in which games in the pitch clock era are being played, yesterday’s game didn’t feel rushed, and it looked like a game the Mets had complete control of as a result. Perhaps that’s an anomaly and the Mets will certainly need to learn how to cope with the new rules, especially on the mound. The Mets winning probably helps my opinion, too.
Around the League 🚩
The Orioles won a see-saw affair against the Yankees by a score of 7-6 at Camden Yards - Ramon Urias and Gunnar Henderson each went 2-for-5
Yankees RHP Luis Severino (lat strain) will throw a bullpen session this weekend
The Rays ran their season-opening winning streak to seven games with a 9-5 win over the A’s at Tropicana Field
The Padres outlasted the Braves, squeaking out a 5-4 win at Truist Park
The Braves placed Michael Harris II on the injured list with a back strain (AJC)
Rangers RHP Jake Odorizzi will have shoulder surgery and miss the 2023 season (Dallas Morning News)