Baseball On Facebook -April 4, 2018-

Welcome to the 21st century. Facebook and MLB are in agreement to have Facebook exclusively broadcast 25 games this year. Today was the first broadcast.

There was a rain delay for an hour and 35 minutes, and the comment section was a cesspool, as you could probably guess. It’s a little weird to hook my laptop up to my TV to watch a Mets game, I must admit. Usually that type of activity is reserved for gambling on a game in an obscure overseas league, where I have to stream a link from a virus riddled site.

So, I’m glad the Mets were chosen for the inaugural Mets broadcast. Get it over with. I never want to watch a game in this manner ever again. The buffering, the banners that take up half the screen, the absence of Gary Cohen. No thanks.

Anyways, on to the game.

Yoenis Cespedes started things off with a bang with a first inning 2 run homerun to left field. The Philadelphia bullpen was probably waiting for the phone to ring, but starter Aaron Nola escaped without any further damage.

The Phillies did a great job of working the count today against Noah Syndergaard. They were no match for him in the first two innings, as five of the first six outs were recorded via the strikeout. Halfway through the third inning however, Met fans were hopeful he’d make it through five.

He didn’t.

He was pinch hit for in the bottom of the fourth inning, leaving with the game tied at 2 after 92 pitches. He allowed just two runs and had seven strikeouts, but averaged 23 pitches an inning.

The damage was done against Noah Syndergaard in the third inning. Cesar Hernandez scored on a groundout, and then Carlos Santana stole home. Yeah, you heard me. Carlos Santana stole home. It was a strange sequence of events to say the least. Rhys Hoskins was caught in between first and second base and CLEARLY ran out of the base path, but he wasn’t called out and you can’t review that type of play apparently. Santana then scampered home for what I’m guessing will be his first and last steal of home.

Pitch counts have definitely been an issue with the starting pitchers so far this year.

No worries, though. That’s why Robert Gsellman is here.

Gsellman had some big shoes to fill after Seth Lugo’s dominant performance last night, but he was up to the task for sure. Gsellman didn’t allow a base runner and struck out three Phillies over two innings of brilliant relief work. This may be the most intriguing storyline of the young season. Lugo and Gsellman pitching like it’s 2016? Out of the bullpen?! Fantastic.

Wilmer Flores pinch hit for Gsellman in the bottom of the sixth and drew a walk. That led to a two out two on situation for Amed Rosario. Our young phenom delivered in a big way, hitting a two run triple which gave the Mets a 4-2 lead.

Citi Field was rocking after Rosario delivered what was arguably the biggest hit of the young 2018 season. Guess who was brought in to protect the lead?

Hansel Robles.

Yeah. The guy who allowed hits, walks and runs in every spring performance. The guy who was sent down to Triple A, and got rocked in his minor league performance. Can you guess how Robles did today?

Well, he struck out the side in order.

Congratulations, universe.
You win.

AJ Ramos entered in the 8th inning to protect the two run lead. He retired the side in order and struck out a batter.

What team am I watching?!

I’m conditioned as a Mets fan to always expect the worst and wait for the other shoe to fall. That will probably always be the case. This team feels different though. I know, I know. It’s VERY early. Tomorrow will be a week since opening day. It feels different though. Timely hitting. Dominant bullpen work. This feels good.

Jeurys Familia entered in the ninth, and allowed Rhys Hoskins to reach on a bloop base hit to begin the inning. It was at this point that my Facebook feed froze. I did learn from alternative sources that Familia got Aaron Altherr to ground into a double play. Familia then struck out Makiel Franco to end the game and preserve the win.

I’d imagine if Gary Cohen was calling the game he might say something like, “he struck him out and the ball game is over!”

What a win. I couldn’t imagine watching that entire Facebook broadcast and having it result in a loss, so I’m extra happy. Time after time the Mets lost these types of games in 2017. So far the bullpen has been the difference between this year and last.

I just can’t stress enough how remarkable this Mets bullpen has been.

The Mets will begin a series with the Nationals tomorrow afternoon. Jacob deGrom will duel it out with Stephen Strasburg. Huge series to say the least, so hopefully the Mets can keep it going.

Although it was only a two game series because of the weather, the Mets won courtesy of a sweep. Two series played. Two series victories. So far so good.

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