4) The Mets still struggle against base-stealers
While there were a lot of positives coming out of today’s game, there were a few negatives as well.
One of the most glaring issues the team faced was their inability to throw out base-stealers, as they allowed 3 stolen bases during their first game of the season, all to the same player, Trea Turner.
Turner is one of the best speedsters in the game today, as he led the league in 2018 with 43 stolen bases, so giving up a steal to him is nothing to be ashamed of, but the fact that he swiped three bags on the Mets today, including one going from second to third base, is a bad sign for the team.
Last season, the Mets allowed the third most steals in the league, letting opposing players swipe 130 bags on them in 2018.
While the ability to protect against stolen bases can vary depending on who is on the mound, the fact that the Mets let up 3 steals with their best pitcher on the mound, this could be an omen that one of the biggest issues from last season may still be a factor in 2019 as well.
5) The bullpen looks good
Let’s end this list on a good note.
While deGrom performed terrifically in his first game of the new campaign, the bullpen was very impressive as well.
After deGrom exited the game following the 6th inning, Seth Lugo entered the game and struck out the side in his one inning of work. Jeurys Familia was a bit shaking in his first appearance in his return to the Mets, hitting the second batter he faced, but managed to get through the 8th inning unscathed.
Our new All-Star closer Edwin Diaz took the mound for the first time with the Mets in the 9th inning, and after he recorded a league-leading 57 save in 2018, expectations were high for Diaz in his debut for the Orange and Blue.
Diaz closed out the game in 14 pitches, and he particularly impressed me with his high 90s fastball. To close out the game, Diaz got 2 fly balls to right field for the first two batters he faced before striking out Matt Adams to secure New York’s first win of the year.
Last season, the bullpen was a major issue for the Mets. The combined ERA for New York’s relievers in 2018 was a whopping 4.96, ranked 28th best out of 30 teams.
The fact that the bullpen was able to be so dominant while facing such a talented lineup in a promising sign for the Mets going forward. Now we just need to hope that these three pitchers, along with the rest of the bullpen remain consistent long-term for New York, helping to preserve our leads in close games after quality starts from our starters, such as the one we saw from deGrom.
Anyway, that’s 1 game down, 161 to go.
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What was your biggest takeaway from the Mets’ first game of the season?