2 biggest winners, 1 biggest loser from Mets Opening Day

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The 2023 New York Mets got off to the start that everyone had hoped for. A 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins, a game they never trailed. Things did get interesting in the 6th inning when the Marlins erased a 3-0 New York lead to tie the game, but it didn’t take long for the Amazins to get those runs back as they answered with two in the top of the 7th. 

Sure, it wasn’t all good, as we dive into the winners and losers from Game 1 of 162, but for the 41st time in franchise history, it was a successful Opening Day. 

NY Mets Opening Day Winner: Brandon Nimmo

During the offseason, the Mets decided to give Brandon Nimmo an eight year extension worth $162 million. The former first round pick was fresh off a season in which he hit .274 as New York’s leadoff hitter. Now with Nimmo getting paid, the expectations for the center fielder have been raised and Thursday’s win was a step in the direction towards proving that Brandon is worth every penny. 

The 30-year-old drove in the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 4th. He then provided the biggest hit of the game: a two run double in the top of the 7th, putting the Mets ahead for good. 

Nimmo finished the day 1 for 3 with a walk and three RBIs. It’s nice to see him get off to a hot start knowing just how important he is at the top of the Mets lineup.

NY Mets Opening Day Loser: Tommy Pham

Steve Cohen and Billy Eppler did was the fans asked. They DFA’d Darin Ruf. Nobody here is saying that was the wrong move, but now the front office, along with Buck Showalter, find themselves searching for someone who can serve as the right handed designated hitter. The first to get an opportunity to be that guy was Tommy Pham. 

New York signed Pham in the offseason, giving him $6 million on a one year deal. The Las Vegas native replaced Daniel Vogelbach in the DH spot halfway through Thursday’s game but failed to make an impact, going hitless in two at bats. 

Pham is fresh off a 2022 season that saw him hit .236 with 17 HRs and 63 RBIs. With the Mets desperate for someone to fill the whole of right handed DH, those numbers would be respectable from Pham. The 35 year old though, hit just .156 in Spring Training and got off to a rough start on Thursday.

With the Mets limited in options, Pham will certainly get his fair share of opportunities. Hopefully for he and the team, he can figure it out.

NY Mets Opening Day Winner: The bullpen

When Steve Cohen and Billy Eppler brought in David Robertson, the idea was for him to take on the role of setup man, pitching the 8th inning on most nights when the Mets had a lead. Well, due to the season-ending knee injury Edwin Diaz suffered in the World Baseball Classic, those plans have changed.

After Max Scherzer pitched six innings on Thursday, the Mets bullpen would be responsible for getting the final nine outs. There was a lot of questioning as to how Buck Showalter would handle things. The reigning NL Manager of the Year went with Drew Smith in the 7th, followed by Brooks Raley in the 8th and David Robertson in the 9th. The three pitchers combined to throw three scoreless innings, surrendering just one hit, while striking out six.

Seeing New York's bullpen perform that well has to feel relieving for most Mets fans. There's no guarantee the order will always be that way but if those three along with Adam Ottavino, who has still yet to make his season debut, can make up for the loss of Diaz, the 2023 Mets will be just fine.

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