Back To Reality

Well. That sucked.

I don’t mean to preface every single post by making reference to the last few months. I will definitely put a stop to that.

It’s no secret that 2020 has been the year from hell. Despite Covid-19 casting a dark cloud over sports, many of us have looked towards baseball as a return to normalcy of sorts.

I might have forgotten how baseball has it’s own special way of tearing your heart out.

Yesterday may have spoiled us.

A gem from deGrom, flawless bullpen work and a game winning home run from Yoenis Céspedes?

But I think we knew today was the test. The Mets have become invincible on Opening Day. Steven Matz thrust into the second spot in the rotation? Let’s see what we are made of!

I feel great about Matz this year. I really feel like he’s on the precipice of turning a corner in his career. We didn’t envision him as our number 2 going into this year, but I’m confident he’ll answer the call for us.

So far, so good. Matz was brilliant today. He had only one blemish, a solo home run, given up to Adam Duvall. Duvall’s blast actually hit a cardboard cutout of Jeff McNeil‘s dog.

What’s the deal with that? Adam Duvall? Why is the league littered with players who seem to only exist to torture Met fans?

Over six innings of work, Matz allowed a run on two hits and a walk, striking out seven. He displayed a new and improved curveball today, and was just fantastic. I guess Jacob deGrom wasn’t exaggerating when he remarked how good Matz looked this off-season.

Our lefty exited the game in line for a win. In the bottom of the fifth, Amed Rosario tripled home Michael Conforto. Rosario came home on a Jeff McNeil sacrifice fly.

So, the Mets had a one run lead going into the seventh inning. The first man tasked with protecting it was Jeurys Familia.

For the second day in a row, Familia looked fantastic! This is very good news, people! A 1-2-3 inning, and he has looked like 2015 Familia so far in 2020. (2015 Regular season Familia.)

Dellin Betances made his Met debut in the eighth inning today. He faced three batters, retiring two of them. Justin Wilson finished off the inning, and the lead was still intact.

Betances looked sharp. He topped out at 94 MPH. He’s not hundred percent yet, but it certainly looks like we are on the right track.

Fast forward to the ninth inning. The Mets were unable to tack on any insurance runs. So that same lead from the sixth inning still hung in the balance.

Enter Edwin Díaz.

Díaz closed the door yesterday. He could do it again today, right?

No. No, he couldn’t.

He retired the first two batters in the inning, and then gave up a game tying home run to Marcell Ozuna.

Díaz gave up an MLB record 15 ninth inning home runs last season. He gave up his first today.

Yeah, it was a tough pitch. Yeah, the Mets offense squandered a bunch of opportunities. Ok, and?

We took on the end of Robinson Canó‘s contract, which means we will pay him into his 40’s. We gave up our first round pick, who we drafted sixth overall. All to acquire Edwin Díaz.

Forgive me for not jumping to look for reasons to defend him today. The Mets handed him a lead which he handed to the Braves.

The Mets failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, so I was reminded of two things.

All games that go into extra innings now start with a runner at second base. Hunter Strickland is on the Mets.

I’m sure you can make an educated guess how this game turned out.

By the way, Drew Smith came in after Hunter Strickland and looked pretty good striking out a batter. Something to watch.

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