Good Starts

Mets Opener Win 2023

After the record* amount of rain that the New York City area got on Thursday, the 2023 home opener was finally played on Friday.

The pomp and circumstance involved included Bob Murphy being honored alongside Ralph Kiner with Murph’s family there to throw out the first pitch. The pre-game introductions were also interesting, as it shows the detail in which the Mets follow their team. Replay coordinator Harrison Friedland got a huge ovation for his excellent record in video challenges. Kodai Senga’s interpreter also got a huge ovation (along with Senga himself), but the second greatest part of the introductions was the fact that anyone involved with food was met very warmly. The chef, the sous chef, the kitchen staff … all HUGE ovations. I wonder if fans thought that they were the people that cooked for them instead of the players. (Now that I think about it, I’m not 100% sure of that myself, but … yay food!)

The greatest part of the introductions, of course, had to be this:

It almost reminded me of when Ruben Tejada came out for Game 3 of the NLDS after Chase Utley committed a Class B Felony against him in Game 2 (of which Utley got a zero game suspension from Joe Torre). Only difference being that Tejada didn’t have his own theme song to come out to.

So the game gets started, and I have to say: If I never see an Edward Cabrera start again, it’ll be way too soon. Not that he committed any Class B Felonies or anything like that, but he’s the Pedro Baez of the Pitch Clock Era. He’s got such great stuff, but it’s all over the place … and he winds up either embarrassing the hitter, or embarrassing himself. He threw 85 pitches in 2 and 2/3’s innings, didn’t give up a hit but walked seven hitters. And if his final pitch, which was ball four with the bases loaded to Mark Canha was a couple of inches higher, he wouldn’t have given up any runs in three innings. It’s certainly an indictment of the Mets being so up and down on offense, but I really think it’s just Cabrera having such great stuff and not knowing what to do with it.

The good news is that 85 pitches in 2 and 2/3’s will knock any starting pitcher out of a game, and then the Mets got to gnaw on the bone marrow of the Marlins’ bullpen. Daniel Vogelbach kicked the party off with an infield hit in the third to make it 2-0, and despite having left a small village on the basepaths early (I know I use that line from Major League a good amount, but they left 6 runners on after going 2-for-13 with runners on base, they would have made some small villages jealous.), they got enough runs later in the game to make that inconsequential.

Pete Alonso drove in a run with a single in the 4th, Starling Marte hit a no-doubter in the 6th to make it 4-0, and Eduardo Escobar and Tomas Nido drove in runs on a 6-4 fielder’s choice (Escobar is in the stage of his slump where he’s hitting balls hard into outs and just foul down the line), and a sac fly where Escobar was caught tagging up from first to make it 6-0. After the Marlins tagged Dennis Santana for three runs on a Garrett Cooper home run to make it 6-3 in the 8th, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso delivered back to back jacks to make it 9-3 and salt it away.

But the story to me was Tylor Megill’s six scoreless innings. The Mets will never, ever survive this gauntlet of a division, and might not have even survived the home opener, if Megill had given the Mets a starting pitching performance as they have been getting from everyone but Senga. Megill walked two and gave up three hits in six innings, while striking out three. It wasn’t the sexiest six shutout innings, but getting outs on contact is more than fine, and it’s certainly more aesthetically pleasing than anything that we saw from Edward Cabrera today, that’s for damned sure.

So that’s another home opener in the books. 41-21 all time, and 11-4 at Citi Field. More importantly, the back end of the bullpen is still fresh if the Mets ever have a close late lead again this season. But most importantly, the Mets got a very good outing from a starting pitcher, and that’s always good news. That needs to continue this season if the Mets are to have any hope of not supplanting 1992 as the worst team money can buy.

*record low

Today’s Hate List

  1. Chase Utley
  2. Joe Torre
  3. Garrett Cooper
  4. Edward Cabrera
  5. Meteorologists

(Editor’s note: You read that right above: Daniel Vogelbach had a f***ing infield hit today. You might have discerned that when white smoke billowed from the exhaust of Compton’s in Astoria.)

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