After making a late comeback to tie the Miami Marlins 8-8 yesterday at Tradition Field, the New York Mets weren’t able to hold on to an early lead, as they dropped their contest in Jupiter, falling to 2-4-2 on the Spring in Grapefruit League play. Johan Santana got back up on the mound amongst plenty of criticism from reporters, but his fellow rotation-mate, Dillon Gee, put together a solid three-inning outing as he continues to make his comeback from the unusual injury he suffered last July. New York wasn’t able to put runs on the board against Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi unti the third inning, which is when the Amazins scored all four of their runs.
- Gee was the only Mets pitcher to get through his scheduled appearance without surrendering a run, as the righty kept the Marlins bats silent for the first three innings of the contest, giving up 3 hits and 1 walk, while also striking out one.
- Corey Mazzoni struggled in his outing, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks with 2 strikeouts in 2 innings pitched. Scott Rice got the loss in today’s game, as he allowed three runs on three hits in one inning of work following Mazzoni. Robert Carson finished off the ballgame with two innings pitched, allowing one run on a solo homer.
- A day after the offense broke out, the bats were silent after the four-run third inning, as the team’s six hits were spread out between six different players.
- Brandon Hicks got the scoring started with a solo homer, and John Buck capped the inning with a three-run bomb, which scored Josh Satin and Omar Quintanilla.
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis had to leave the game in the seventh inning with a bruised left knee. The Mets are unsure of the severity of the injury at this time.
- Marlins reliever Evan Reed made things interesting in the top of the 9th, as he walked three hitters in a row to load the bases with only one out (Hicks, Satin, and Reese Havens). Then, he proceeded to strike out Wilfredo Tovar and Landon Powell to put a bow on the game and earn the save.
Although it would have been better to see the Mets hold onto that early lead instead of letting it slip away in the later innings, there were some positives to be taken from today’s contest. Dillon Gee looks healthy and ready to have a breakout season now that his shoulder issues are well behind him. I’m excited to see how he fortifies the back end of the rotation once the season starts. Despite the struggles of Scott Rice, Robert Carson looked to be hitting his spots (outside of the homer he allowed).
Depending on how serious Kirk’s knee injury is, it could open up more discussion about center field. If it is serious and Collin Cowgill continues to play well, New York cold end up handing him the starting job in center, or this could be the opportunity to give Matt den Dekker a chance to develop as part of a platoon at the Major League level.
John Buck continues to show us that there will be more power behind the plate this season, even if it takes some time for Travis d’Arnaud to be around. Watching him put together some good at-bats makes me feel better about d’Arnaud starting the season in Triple-A Las Vegas, and making his way to Flushing sometime in May or June. Buck’s veteran leadership of the pitching staff has already been on display in the few weeks they’ve been at camp, and it will continue to be a game changer moving forward, as I think he will be a vital resource for Bobby Parnell, who will now be the team’s closer to start the season.
The Mets will head back to Port St. Lucie to get ready for their matchup tomorrow against the Atlanta Braves. The team’s are set to take Tradition Field at 1:10p. Jeremy Hefner is scheduled to start for the Mets, while Tim Hudson will get the party started for the Braves.