Although the Mets put up a good fight against the Nationals tonight before suffering their first Grapefruit League loss this spring, some of the more significant news came off the field. First, we caught wind of Ruben Tejada being a late scratch due to a right quad cramp (according to a Mets spokesperson), but Terry Collins is calling it a “little strain.” Also, Lucas Duda won’t be seeing action in a game until Wednesday or Thursday, as Collins deemed the Dude wasn’t ready for game action yet, and needs some extra time in the cage before facing pitchers in live games again. Here are some highlights from tonight’s loss:
- Collin McHugh made his spring debut, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits in 2.1 innings pitched, as Brandon Lyon bailed him out by getting the last two outs of the third inning.
- Scott Rice and Greg Burke put together scoreless appearances.
- Elvin Ramirez gave up 1 run and struck out 4 in 1.2 IP, while Robert Carson gave up four hits, but only allowed 1 run in his inning of work.
- Ike Davis got the scoring started for the Mets with a booming solo home run to right center field in the bottom of the fourth inning.
- After making a sparkling play to rob a homer in centerfield, Matt den Dekker singled in front of Zach Lutz, who doubled him in before Juan Lugares hit a two-run single, plating Lutz and Brian Bixler.
- Travis d’Arnaud came in to take John Buck‘s spot at catcher and lined a single to left field in the ninth inning, giving his first hit as a New York Met.
I was happy to see both Scott Rice and Greg Burke pitch tonight, and was impressed with both of their outings, especially Burke’s. He looked fantastic, pounding the strike zone to get a groundout on one pitch and then two strikeouts to follow. At the end of it all, it was just a tough third inning from McHugh that led to the loss tonight.
At the plate, I saw a lot of line drives and hard hit balls, which is encouraging. For me, seeing that means players are not only coming to the plate with the correct approach, but are able to incorporate it successfully. Davis’ home run was the first thing I saw when I turned the TV on, which couldn’t have been a better way to get my viewing time started. In addition to that, den Dekker, Lutz, Lugares, and d’Arnaud all made solid contact for base hits. I was most happy to see d’Arnaud get his first hit as a Met; it’s the start of a new era, and he must feel better getting that first one under his belt.
The Mets continue getting into the swing of things (pun intended) as they travel to take on the Marlins tomorrow afternoon at 1pm. It won’t be televised, so we’re stuck with gameday to keep track.
For now, put this Den Dekker catch on a loop.