It’s always a noted day when the television broadcasters return to work. Gary Cohen fresh off his Seton Hall duty. Ron Darling stops over from MLB Network. And Keith Hernandez armed with a freshly black mustache and a new set of highlighters. (Coincidence … there are no black highlighters.) History will also note that it was 4:13 PM on Saturday, February 25th 2017 which featured Keith’s first passive aggressive pace-of-play shot of the season (“that little chardonnay at sunset gonna taste awful good tonight”). To be fair, 3:15 is long for a spring training game. But also, you’re in Florida and not Minnesota. So count your blessings.
Bryce Harper hit a shot off of Sean Gilmartin on Saturday that hit a fence at the back of the berm in center field … a fence I never knew existed until Harper hit it. That made the score 1-0 Nationals. Then after Jerry Blevins gave up a two run home run, the Mets had a disastrous sixth inning where Kevin Plawecki got his knee bent backwards on a play at the plate and had to leave the game, and pitcher Kevin McGowan got clubbed like a baby seal that Harper totally clubs in his spare time because that’s what Bryce Harper does. (Responsible journalism.) McGowan gave up a couple of dingers and had to be pulled from the inning, a rarity for a spring game though it happened twice on Saturday.
At the end of that half inning it was 7-0 Nationals, but after a Michael Conforto RBI single in the bottom of the 6th, the Nats bullpen let the Mets back into it with a ton of walks in the 8th inning to get the Mets back to within 7-4. Then after a Nationals run in the ninth, the Mets scored two more, including an RBI single by super prospect Amed Rosario. But Travis Taijeron struck out looking to end the game with the tying runs on base and give the Nationals an 8-6 victory. It’s spring training for everyone, including me. First, I thought Travis Taijeron was smaller than 6’2 220. Second, I thought Travis Taijeron was on the Blue Jays. And third, I thought Emmanuel Burriss of the Nationals was the co-host on The Eric Andre Show.
I also keep thinking that it’s now called “First Date Field”. But I’m sticking with that because it’s funny. I’ll be ready by Opening Day.