Morning Briefing: ‘Stros to Meet the Matz

Good morning, Mets fans! Steven Matz will get the ball today against the Houston Astros at First Data Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

On Monday, two star pitchers, Noah Syndergaard and Justin Verlander, lined up against each other Monday and the match up did not disappoint. Syndergaard topped out at 101 mph and flashed a 93 mph changeup. But Verlander was also up to the challenge, also retiring all six batters he faced.

However, once the superstars left, both bullpens faltered. Hansel Robles started his season poorly, giving  up four runs. All signs point to him starting the 2018 season in Vegas if he can not replicate his 2016 campaign.

After the Mets came back from the deficit thanks to RBI doubles from Tomas Nido and Zach Borenstein, Jamie Callahan immediately gave the lead back on a home run to J.D. Davis. The Mets would then take the lead on a Gavin Cecchini home run. More on the former first round pick later

However the Mets bullpen woes would continue. Top prospect Kyle Tucker hit a game-tying blast off of Drew Smith, who has only allowed one home run in his minor league career.

The following inning, the Mets tied the game on a Patrick Mazeika RBI single, but Tyler Bashlor would be the final Met reliever to under perform as he allowed the eventual game winning RBI double to Garrett Stubbs. The Mets loaded the bases in the ninth, but a Jeremy Vasquez strikeout was the final nail in the coffin as the Mets lost 8-7.

Latest Mets News

James Wagner of The New York Times reports that the Mets and A.J. Griffin have agreed to a minor league deal. He will mostly likely be depth at Las Vegas for the historically injury-riddled staff. Ever since Griffin underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2014, he hasn’t been able to replicate his earlier career numbers and as such, has posted a 5.41 ERA over the past two seasons.

Mike Puma of The New York Post raves about Gavin Cecchini‘s new swing.

Despite concerns that Syndergaard was over-exerting himself in his first spring training start, a shirtless “Thor” downplayed those concerns in his postgame interview, claiming “I didn’t feel like I was exerting a lot of effort.”

Syndergaard earned compliments from two prominent Astros, Jose Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez. After the right-hander breezed a curveball past Gonzalez, game mics picked Gonzalez saying “This is not fun.” In his postgame interview, Altuve was also in awe of Syndergaard’s pitches, saying “If he throws me that changeup 100 times, he’s going to strike me out 100 times.”

Mickey Callaway announced that Zack Wheeler will piggyback off Matt Harvey‘s start Wednesday. This could signal that Wheeler will begin transitioning to the bullpen. Callaway also believes that Yoenis Cespedes will begin the 2018 season in No. 2 spot in the lineup.

In a recent interview with 710WOR, Bobby Ojeda brushes aside talk that the Mets rotation is the best in the Majors.

Former Met Endy Chavez has signed with the Independent League Somerset Patriots.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com has latest on the newest meals being offered at Citi Field this year.

Dan Hayes of The Athletic writes about former Met pitcher Jeremy Hefner’s new career path: a scout for Minnesota Twins.

Latest MLB News

Shohei Ohtani batted for the first time in the Major Leagues and finished 1-for-1 with two walks and an RBI in three plate appearances.

In an unprecedented move, Major League Baseball has fined international free agent Julio Pablo Martinez $100,000 for falsifying his paperwork.

Felix Hernandez has thankfully avoided serious injury after a comeback struck him on his pitching hand on Tuesday.

Despite a career-best 2017 campaign, the Blue Jays have DFA’d outfielder Ezequiel Carrera. It may be worth for the Mets to take a flyer on the 30-year-old, who has always been an excellent defender.

Russell Wilson reported to the Yankees Spring Training and even homered in his first BP session.

The Red Sox made the JD Martinez signing official. The five-year deal has three opt-outs and financial protection for Boston if he gets injured.

Former reliever Andrew Bailey has elected to take a job overlooking replay for the Angels. Bailey was a promising Red Sox reliever, but a torn right shoulder capsule in 2013 ruined his career.

According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, the Rays are discussing a new television contract with FOX that will pay around $82 million for 14 years.

Latest NL East News

The Good Phight previews the Phillies 2018 bullpen.

FoxSports reviews Justin Bour‘s new position: team leader.

Latest on MMO

MMN’s Jacob Resnick reports on the new managers in the Mets minor system in 2018.

In an MMO fan shot, Marc Epstein opines on Tim Tebow‘s baseball journey.

This Date in Mets History

Former Met slugger Duke Snider passed away on this date seven years ago.

About Matt Mancuso 97 Articles
I've been a Mets fan ever since I was young, which means that 2015 was the first playoff run I experienced. I'm hoping for better Mets memories ahead! My twitter is https://twitter.com/Cuso__.