The Mets (2-1) will not complete the first undefeated season in baseball history as they fall to the Cardinals, 5-1. However, they did win the series against a good St. Louis team (1-2). Even with the loss on Sunday, the Mets hit the ball well, only to find a lot of leather for outs.
Steven Matz (L, 0-1) took the loss as the Cardinals avoided the opening weekend sweep thanks to Paul DeJong’s first multi-home run game of his career. Luke Weaver (W, 1-0) held the Mets to one run over his five innings and the bullpen did the rest. DeJong, who’s a life-time 1.000 hitter against Matz (3-3), took him deep in the second inning to give the Cardinals their first lead of the weekend, 1-0. It was the second home run that DeJong has hit against Matz in three AB’s. DeJong went deep against Jacob Rhame (making his Mets debut) again in the 8th.
Matz struggled in the first two innings, throwing 51 pitches, walking two and striking out three. But after Ahmed Rosario tied the game for the Mets with another 2-out RBI in the second, Matz surrendered a run scoring, 2-out double to Marcel Ozuna after getting ahead in the count 0-2. Ozuna started the season 0-9 before delivering that RBI double. He followed it up with a run scoring single in the 5th and finished the day with three hits.
Weaver, who won seven straight starts for the Cardinals as a rookie last year, worked in and out of trouble in his five innings, including a 27-pitch first inning that the Mets failed to capitalize on. The Mets managed five hits against Weaver in his five innings and just two more the rest of the way.
Matt Harvey takes the hill to start a three-game series against the Phillies (1-2) tomorrow, who a rare Sunday off after being hammered by the Braves n Saturday, 15-2. New manager Gabe Kapler made a huge boner when he removed starter Vince Velasquez without any pitcher warming up in the bullpen. Hoby Milner jumped up and threw a handful of pitches in the pen before jogging to the mound. When umpire Jerry Lane (the crew chief) allowed Milner a few extra throws on the mound, Braves manager Brian Skitner came out to argue about the delay and was then tossed from the game. Lane would later file a report with Major League Baseball, explaining his decision.
“For whatever reason the pitcher wasn’t even getting ready,” Layne told a pool reporter. “Who got crossed up, I’m not placing blame on anybody because I don’t know. He just wasn’t ready. Hadn’t thrown a pitch. … The last thing I want to do is get somebody hurt. It’s already a messed-up situation.”
Lane did the right thing for the player, but there should be some sort of punishment for Kapler.
POSITIVES: Juan Lagares, playing for a second straight game because Brandon Nimmo had flu-like symptoms, had three hits … Jay Bruce had his first XBH of the year, a double … Jacob Rhame, whom the Mets got in the Curtis Granderson deal from the Dodgers last year, made his Mets debut … Third straight game without an error and the defense turned two double plays … AJ Ramos pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout … Jason Vargas threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Monday … Michael Conforto is scheduled to rejoin the Mets on Monday and could be in the lineup as early as Thursday … Mets pitchers have recorded 35 strikeouts in the first three games, breaking the franchise record of 32 that was set in 2005.
NEGATIVES: Todd Frazier was 0-3 with 2K and is hitting just .200 … Roasrio got picked off first after driving home the Mets only run … Jerry Blevins made his first appearance of the season, but walked two before getting the final out of the 8th inning, facing only 3 batters … Anthony Swarzak will be evaluated after leaving the game on Saturday with a strained oblique muscle.
Paul DiSclafani is a featured writer on “A View From The Bench”, which has been recognized by Major League baseball as one of the top 100 blog sites.