New York Mets: Observations from their Opening Day victory

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Noah Syndergaard (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Noah Syndergaard (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Here are some observations from the New York Mets win over the Cardinals on Opening Day.

The New York Mets continued their winning ways on Opening Day at Citi Field with a 9-4 victory over the Cardinals. They combined solid pitching from Noah Syndergaard and the bullpen with hitting all across the lineup to win the game going away. The Mets have the best Opening Day record since 1970 of any team in baseball and they kept that going in 2018 running their record to 37-21.

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On a day of great sadness with the death of Rusty Staub, the Mets put forth a day worthy of a happy recap. Here are some thoughts:

  • The great “Thor” looked in midseason form, striking out ten batters over six innings of work. He did make more efficient use of his pitches as well, only throwing 85 over six innings. Mickey Callaway being conservative is understandable in game one, he’ll get extended as the season moves along.
  • Take note of Brandon Nimmo who looked very good in the leadoff spot. He did what he had to do, getting on base three out of four times up. Setting the table for the lineup is his job and that was a great start.
  • Mickey Callaway is a creative guy. Yoenis Cespedes doesn’t seem like a prime candidate for the number two hole in the lineup, but he certainly looked the part. He picked up two hits and drove in three runs. He did strike out twice, which is not something very becoming of a number two hitter, so he may have to drop back eventually. The idea did produce numbers, however.
  • See the previous for the fact that Noah Syndergaard batted eighth. It may be allowed but not too many managers in the NL make a move like that. It gave the lineup effectively a double leadoff situation with Amed Rosario batting ninth, followed by Nimmo. Rosario’s two hits made the move come up smelling like a rose as well.
  • For years the Mets have been notorious for leaving runners on base. On Opening Day, six of their nine runs were driven in with two outs. Timely hitting is one of the marks of a good team. If this can continue, the fan base will like the lineup a lot more than they have in the recent past.

Next: Mets 2018 preview

  • How long has it been since the Mets have had a reliable bullpen? If Opening Day is any indication, this could finally be the year. In the final three innings of the game, Robert Gsellman, Anthony Swarzak and Jeurys Familia combined to walk one batter and not allow a hit. That’s pretty exciting, judging the bullpen problems we have had in the past with the Mets.

Of course it’s only one game, but it’s a great start.