New York Mets Spring Training 2019: Two Days in the Life
By Leen Amin
New York Mets Spring Training 2019 may be over, but the experience I had is something I will not forget.
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend five days in Port St. Lucie to watch New York Mets Spring Training games. I was in attendance on March 13 against the Houston Astros and on March 15 against the Washington Nationals.
The atmosphere of the stadium during the games was quite unique. It seemed that the vast majority of people in attendance were retirees who moved to Port St. Lucie from New York and all knew each other.
They are also some of the friendliest people you will ever meet: my brother and I made some friends for life at those two games. Between innings, we listened as our neighbors told us stories of the Mets of old.
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Even though we were in Florida and it was mid-March, it did not feel like we were at Spring Training games. The games were packed, and the audience went wild whenever a pitcher would end an inning with a strikeout or whenever the Mets scored. I was also surprised to see legends such as Dwight Gooden in attendance.
With regard to the games themselves, everything depends on whether or not you believe a player’s performance during Spring Training is indicative of how they will perform during the regular season and, potentially, the postseason.
I, personally, do not. I have seen players perform like Babe Ruth during Spring Training and hit for an average below .200 in the regular season, and vice versa. Nonetheless, I think that some of the things I saw during these games are worth mentioning.
Noah Syndergaard started against the Astros and was fantastic. He pitched 5.2 innings, struck out five, allowed no runs, and allowed just two hits. Keon Broxton showed off his baserunning skills by stealing a base and advancing easily on a wild pitch.
Peter Alonso has been so wonderful this spring that he received a standing ovation from the crowd after hitting a deep fly ball in the fourth inning. It was nice to see the fans encouraging the young first baseman.
The game against the Nationals was definitely a forgettable one. Steven Matz started that one, and he was absolutely abysmal. Come to think of it, that may have been the worst pitching performance I have ever seen in person. Matz gave up a home run to Adam Eaton, the lead-off hitter and it all went downhill from there.
He pitched two innings and allowed seven hits and eight runs. Because I try not to worry much about Spring Training performances, I am not entirely concerned about what I saw from Matz, even though that outing was nothing short of terrible.
Amed Rosario impressed me in both of these games. He displayed great plate discipline (something that has been an issue for him in the past) and ran the bases quite well.
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I highly recommend that every Mets fan experience Spring Training at least once in their lifetime. It truly is an unforgettable experience and gets you ready for Opening Day!