In a game that included only three position players who are likely to break camp with the team, the Mets lost to the Marlins 7 to 5 this afternoon in Jupiter. Jenrry Mejia allowed Juan Pierre to reach base via his own throwing error after he led off the game with a bunt, with Pierre advancing all the way to third base. Mejia’s inning blew up from there, as he proceeded to allow a grand slam to Casey Kotchman and ended up surrendering five runs in the first. He completed the inning with back to back strikeouts, and was replaced by Cory Mazzoni at the start of the second inning.
The Mets scored 3 runs in the 8th inning and were in striking distance, but second baseman Reese Havens struck out looking with 2 men on to end the threat. The Mets notched 9 hits to Miami’s 5.
- RHP Jenrry Mejia got the start for the Mets and gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in his only inning. He allowed 3 hits (including a grand slam to Casey Kotchman), 1 walk, struck out 2, and uncorked a wild pitch. He threw 30 pitches (15 strikes and 15 balls).
- RHP Cory Mazzoni tossed 3 perfect frames while pitching to contact. He struck out none and walked none.
- CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis failed to reach base in 3 at bats and struck out twice.
- RHP Hansel Robles pitched two innings and gave up a pair of solo home runs (one to Giancarlo Stanton, the other to Matt Downs).
- Omar Quintanilla, who is battling for a spot as a backup infielder, went 2 for 2 with a run scored.
- Travis d’Arnaud entered at Catcher in the bottom of the 6th and lined a single to center off LHP Matt Dunn in the 7th inning. He also drove in a run in the 8th inning with a sacrifice fly.
- OF Mike Baxter went 0 for 3 and has yet to record a hit this spring.
- RHP Jeurys Familia, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, retired the side in order in the 7th inning on a fly out and a couple of grounders.
- SS Wilfredo Tovar drove in a run in the 8th inning with a single to left.
- RHP Scott Atchison, who will likely be in the bullpen on opening day, entered in the 8th and tossed a perfect inning.
…Here’s the box score from today’s game…
It’s unclear whether or not Johan Santana will be ready for the start of the season, and Mejia has been viewed as an option to take his spot. Today’s performance certainly didn’t help his cause. At the same time, no pitcher should be judged solely on their first inning of the spring. Collin McHugh and Jeremy Hefner are the other two likely candidates to replace Santana in the rotation if he isn’t ready to start the year.
If Kirk Nieuwenhuis (who struck out twice today) has a poor spring, it’ll be interesting to see what the Mets do. Matt den Dekker struggled mightily with the bat after being called up to AAA last year, so it would appear he isn’t an option to break camp with the team.
Travis d’Arnaud seems to be easing in. I’m sure he was pressing big time during his first few at bats this spring (not to mention shaking off the rust from not having played since June). After delivering his first hit as a Met last night, he lined a single in the 7th and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the 8th this afternoon.
It was nice to see Cory Mazzoni, whose future with the team will likely be in a relief role, hurl 3 perfect innings.
The Mets host the Cardinals tomorrow at 1:10 PM. The game will air on SNY, with RHP Zack Wheeler on the hill for the Mets.