The New York Mets were defeated by the Miami Marlins on Tuesday afternoon by a score of 8-1 at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter. Though the scoreboard may not show it, this game wasn’t just a net negative for the Mets.
On the mound, Jacob deGrom struck out six and allowed two runs over five innings. In his fourth start of the spring he reached eighty pitches. In the battle of the final bullpen spot, Tyler Bashlor struggled and both Hector Santiago and Tim Peterson continued their strong springs.
Offensively, the Mets bats weren’t able to get much going. However, Dominic Smith continued his strong spring in the battle for the Opening Day first base job with Pete Alonso. Like the first four Mets hitters of the game, Smith was punched out by Trevor Richards in his first at-bat.
In his next at-bat, Smith led off the top of the fourth with a walk. Then in the sixth, his red hot bat showed up for the first time. After Juan Lagares singled and stole second, Smith roped an RBI double to right to at the time cut the Marlins lead to 2-1.
And in his final at-bat in the top of the ninth, Smith lined a single to right off of Nick Anderson to cap off his solid performance. After starting the afternoon with the strikeout, he bounced back and finished 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI double.
As MMO’s Jack Hendon pointed out, Smith now has a .433 BA, and .1.084 OPS which are both tied for the highest and sixth-highest marks in baseball this spring (respectively).
With their strong performances, both Smith and Alonso are making it extremely hard for the Mets to keep either of them off the Opening Day roster. It is certainly a possibility that the both of them could break camp with the team.
On the first base competition, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters earlier this week.. “If they continue to play as well as they have, we’ll have some tough decisions at the end of camp. But those are exciting decisions to make because it’s a result of the players playing so well.”