He’s back! After being sidelined in March with inflammation stemming from bone spurs detected in his pitching elbow, Jenrry Mejia finally made his long anticipated 2013 regular season Mets debut earlier this afternoon in Washington. As part of his rehabilitation prior to today’s start, he made two appearances with the Binghamton Mets where he totaled eleven innings pitched, allowed one earned run on six hits, walked four and struck out nine batters. The Mets opted to bypass a stop at AAA-Las Vegas in light of today’s double-header. Mejia, 23, who elected to hold off surgery until after the season, will pitch the balance of the season with a certain degree of discomfort, but will be treated with anti-inflammatory medication along the way. Whether he stays on the big club remains to be seen. Mejia was listed as the Mets 26th (roster) man this afternoon, under MLB rules regarding a double-header.
On the hill today to open a four game weekend series in Washington, Jenrry was opposed by the National’s Jordan Zimmermann.
Daniel Murphy gave Jenrry Mejia and the visiting New York Mets an early 1-0 lead in the first inning with a majestic solo home run to right/center off Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann, that caromed off the second pavilion.
On the mound making only his seventh major league start, Mejia struck out the first batter he faced, lead-off hitter Bryce Harper. Although the Nationals touched Jenrry for six hits over the first four innings, Mejia kept them scoreless, walking none while striking out four. The Mets hurler flashed a 95mph fastball at times, and snapped off cutters/sliders in the high 80’s range.
The Mets took a 3-0 lead with two outs in the third inning on Daniel Murphy’s second home run of the game, this time into the bullpen in right, which scored Juan Lagares who previously doubled.
Mejia retired the Washington Nations in order for the first time in the fifth. As for his economy of pitches, he averaged 13.4 pitches per inning through the first five, throwing sixty-seven pitches, with forty-seven going for strikes.
Through six full innings, Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed the Mets three earned runs on just four hits. He threw 105 pitches to that point, walked two and struck out eight.
Jenrry Mejia returned to the hill for the bottom of the sixth, and struck out the first batter he faced, Ryan Zimmerman on a nasty breaking ball, low and away to the right-handed batter. Next up, Adam LaRoche watched the bottom fall out of another Mejia slider, and likewise flailed at it for strike three. After allowing a two out single to right fielder Jason Werth, Jenrry Mejia proceeded to strikeout Ian Desmond with another assortment of sliders. He finished the frame with a manageable eighty-four pitches thrown for the game.
Catcher Anthony Recker led-off the seventh inning with a double off the right field wall – the Mets fifth hit, and fourth extra base hit off Zimmerman. After Omar Quintanilla lofted an easy out to Werth in right, Terry Collins sent Jenrry Mejia up for his scheduled at-bat. The decision turned out well, as the Mets starter grounded to first base which allowed Recker to advance to third base. With two outs, Juan Lagares stepped in, and slapped a single up the middle to give the Mets a 4-0 lead, and knock Jordan Zimmermann from the game. Reliever Fernando Abad entered from the bullpen to face Daniel Murphy. After Juan Lagares stole second base, Murph slapped another grounder up the middle to score Lagares. David Wright followed and served yet another hit back through the box, setting up runners on first and second. With a favorable 0-2 count, Marlon Byrd looked at a gutsy curve ball for strike one, then looked at an outside fastball for strike two. On the fifth pitch from Abad, Byrd flied easily to short center, ending the frame, but not before the Mets took a 5-0 lead over the Nationals.
Jenrry Mejia climbed the hill again in the bottom of the seventh, and still flashed a 92+mph fastball, and a biting mid-80’s slider. He retired the bottom of the Nationals line-up in order, while his pitch-count ended at ninety-seven for the game, with sixty-six going for strikes. Done for the afternoon, Jennry limited Washington to seven hits and no runs. He walked no batters and struck out seven.
After going scoreless in the top of the eighth, first out of the Mets bullpen in the bottom of the frame was Scott Rice, who promptly surrendered a lead-off single to Bryce Harper, who was in turn, lifted for a pinch-runner – former Met Jerry Hairston. After a fielder’s choice, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman stepped-in with one out against Rice, who induced Ryan into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Daniel Murphy stepped in against the Nats Ryan Mattheus with runners on second and third, and delivered once again, this time serving an opposite field single to left, which scored Quintanilla for the Mets sixth run of the game. That hastened another pitching change from manager Davey Johnson, who brought in Drew Storen to face David Wright, who then greeted the new Nats reliever with a hard single to left that sent Lagares trotting home from third to make it a 7-0 game. Then the Mets piled-on. Marlon Byrd delivered Murphy with another single, and Ike Davis cleaned-up the bases with a three run home run to right.
Coach Terry summoned Gonzalez German to pitch the ninth. The first batter, Adam LaRoche grounded to first. Jason Werth followed with a grounder to Quintanilla for the second out. Shortstop Ian Desmond was next, and worked the count full before drawing a walk to extend the game. Center fielder Denard Span then stepped-in, and popped-out in foul territory to David Wright, finally ending the game.
Game One Final:
- Daniel Murphy extended his hitting streak to five games – (last five games: 11 for 20, .550 average). Today, 4 for 5, two home runs and a double. Five runs batted in equal his career high.
- In his first MLB game of 2013, Jenrry Mejia was absolutely stellar in earning his first win of the season. After the game, Jenrry admitted that was a change-up we were seeing, and he expressed great delight in being able to throw it for strikes. I was happy too!
- Juan Lagares, 3 for 4, two doubles; nice defense.
- Ike Davis hit his first home run since June 2nd.