Finally, we got to watch the Mets play while hearing the voices of Gary, Keith, and Ronnie like baseball is meant to be. The sellout crowd of 7,003 at Tradition Field got to see one of my least favorite things in baseball, a tie. The Mets tied the game in dramatic fashion when Dilson Herrera hit an inside the park homerun to leadoff the bottom of the 9th inning.
Highlights from the pitching staff:
- Logan Verrett pitched two innings with the only damage he allowed coming from a two-run homerun from Destin Hood. The long blast followed an error by Lucas Duda at first meaning only one of the runs were earned. He gave up two hits and did not strike out or walk anybody.
- Akeel Morris worked around a double by Marcell Ozuna to pitch a scoreless 3rd inning, stadium gun had him at 93-94 MPH with the fastball.
- Good spring debut for Addison Reed who walked one in a scoreless inning of work and threw a 137 MPH fastball that broke (apparently already broken) the Tradition Field radar gun.
- The must anticipated return of lefty Jerry Blevins came in the fifth inning and started out promising as he retired the first two batters he faced (both righties). He then gave up back-to-back singles before Christian Yelich hit a slow roller to Asdrubal Cabrera that he could not handle allowing an unearned run to score. Blevins got the next batter out to finish his inning of work without a walk or strikeout.
- Jim Henderson got his first audition for one of the Mets last bullpen spots and the early returns are solid as he pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. Hit a batter and was registering 92-93 with his fastball according to SNY gun.
- Lefty Duane Below struck out former Met Zach Lutz with runners on second and third to finish his scoreless inning of work. Allowed two hits and struck out two.
- Minor leaguer Chasen Bradford pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning with one strikeout.
- The Marlins took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 9th when Buddy Carlyle gave up a run scoring single to Kenny Wilson. Lutz followed with another single but left fielder Marc Krauss made a good throw home to nail the runner and end the inning. Carlyle gave up three hits and a run.
Herrera was the big story with the bat as the only Met with two hits (2 for 2) and scored the team’s final two runs. How the rest of the offense did today as the starting lineup featured six starters:
- Juan Lagares got a hustle double in his first at bat, he went 1 for 2 out of the leadoff spot.
- Cabrera made his Mets debut going 0 for 2 with a lineout and the costly error in the field at shortstop.
- Yoenis Cespedes walked up to the plate to a roaring ovation (2nd loudest of day) in the first inning as the designated hitter, he went 0 for 4 with a strikeout on the day.
- Mets first baseman went 0 for 4 on the day with Lucas Duda and Dominic Smith both grounding out twice. Smith continued to look smooth defensively.
- Neil Walker singled in the fifth inning to start a two-run rally, he went 1 for 2.
- With Curtis Granderson not ready yet, Alejandro De Aza got the start in right field and went 1 for 2 with an infield single.
- T.J. Rivera started at third base going 1 for 4 with an RBI single, he was the only Met to play all nine innings defensively.
- Ty Kelly started in left field, played three innings in center, and went 1 for 3 with run knocked in.
- The Mets current extra base hit team leader (2) Travis Taijeron went 1 for 2 with a triple that the right fielder had some trouble tracking down. He scored in the 7th inning on a strikeout when the catcher couldn’t handle the wild pitch.
- Travis d’Arnaud played for the first time this spring, he caught the first five innings and went 0 for 1 with a walk and run scored.
- Matt Reynolds came up to bat in the 5th inning with the bases loaded and one out but hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Played the final five innings at shortstop.
Wilmer Flores walked in his only plate appearance of the game, the big story was the incredible ovation he was given by the Tradition Field fans when he came up to the plate.
The Mets head to Kissimmee to play the Astros tomorrow at 1:05 with prospect Robert Gsellman getting the start against the former Met Collin McHugh. Also scheduled to pitch are Antonio Bastardo, Josh Smoker, Seth Lugo, and Hansel Robles.