I tend to get really excited on Opening Day. I tend to get downright giddy when the Mets win on Opening Day. It means we’re undefeated. It means we’re World Series bound. It means…that they give me a day off tomorrow so I can stop being delusional and snap back to reality.
The Mets picked up the Opening Day W in our nation’s capital today by the score of 3-1 in a game that usually is a complete 180 for the Mets against the Nationals. The Nats have a way of bringing out the sloppy, boneheaded play in the Mets and turning that into decisive victories. But for one glorious day, the Nationals were the team the made the mistakes and the Mets did enough to capitalize on them and hold on tight enough to get across the finish line.
The day didn’t start off all shits and giggles, however, as the Mets went into the sixth inning without a hit against Max Scherzer and you were forced to sit there and ponder another completely lost season once he finished no-hitting them. But, thankfully, a gift error from Ian Desmond and a timely, two-run single from Lucas Duda put the Mets ahead 2-1 after six.
Travis d’Arnaud would add an RBI triple later on to back six strong innings from Bartolo Colon who finished with 8 strikeouts and gave up only one run on a solo homer to Bryce Harper. Colon was tested early, but was able to finagle his way out of a two-on, no out situation in the bottom of the first by getting Harper and Ryan Zimmerman to strike out and coaxing a grounder from Wilson Ramos.
You can go anywhere and read recaps and shit so that’s the main stuff. Now, onto my takeaways and thoughts about the game and #MetsTwitter:
First off, a lot of people had problems with Bartolo Colon getting the nod on Opening Day. Personally, I didn’t give a fuck. I looked at it as a way to maybe easier contain the work on Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom while getting extra people in the seats at CitiField for TWO #HarveyDays on the opening homestand.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Teams that want to win to schedule their rotation based on ticket sales. Well, if you haven’t already noticed, the Mets are dying for money and, seriously, is having your most popular pitcher play twice at home a bad thing? Shit, if I still lived in Queens, I’d tweet @MetsGM a fucking thank you. My double main man Gomez and I went to see Harvey pitch like 5 or 6 times in 2013 and it was fucking awesome. And we were there specifically to see him. And eat the steak sandwiches from Pat LaFrieda’s. Shit’s like crack.
But Colon. I didn’t think it was any kind of stroke of genius to hand him the ball today, but I didn’t have a problem with it. And we won. Now we’re set up with deGrom and Harvey going the next two games. Sure, the Nats are countering with Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg, but I like my guys and I like our chances.
Next order of business: Wilmer Flores. Can you people lay the fuck off the guy? Yes, I get that he went 0 for 4 and struck out twice. But there is 161 more games to play. I’m a big proponent of starting hot and that wins in April count just as much as win in September, but you’ve got to let the kid play and develop. He was also going against a former Cy Young winner today if you hadn’t noticed and Max Scherzer made a couple of people look foolish besides Flores. Give him time.
What in the blue and orange fuck was up with that starting lineup? You tell Lagares to prove to you that he can improve his approach and become a better option for the leadoff spot. He does that. You bat him sixth. I don’t know if this was a Terry Collins thing or a Sandy forcing the hand thing. I dunno. But I hated it. But they won, so I’m not going to get too mad over it.
Weird thing in the bottom of the 9th, Jenrry Mejia is coming on to close it out (OK, makes sense, go on…) and runs toward the dugout instead of the mound (yeah, weird, but he’s a little eccentric so still not worried…) and then never came back out and was replaced by Jerry Blevins to start the inning. Blevins retired Bryce Harper on a line out and then gave way to journeyman Buddy Carlyle – whose ownership of a roster spot has been a source of debate between most – who recorded his first major league save. So all turned out well in the end, but apparently Jenrry IX was having troubles with elbow stiffness while warming up. I’m not a doctor, but that usually doesn’t end well in this game. The fact that Mejia declined to talk to the media afterward also gives a foreboding sense to the MRI that he’ll be having tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s no big deal, but you come to expect the worst in these situations.
All in all, if even for one day, it’s nice to cheer for a first place team. As always, it’s not a track meet, it’s a marathon, but it’s nice to get out of the chute on the right foot. Magic number stands at 162. See you Wednesday!