The New York Mets are looking like one of the best teams in baseball at the moment. Of course, it’s way too early to tell, but fans could take a lot of encouragement from what the team has shown in the early going.
The Mets had a chance to become the first MLB outfit to reach four wins for the season and seemed well on their way when they took a one-run lead over the Washington Nationals in Sunday’s fourth inning, but they ended up losing 4-2.
“It’s good to win the first series of the year, but dropping this one late kind of stinks, especially for me,” first baseman Pete Alonso was quoted as saying. “I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to go out there and let anyone down, especially not anyone in the locker room. After not making the play there, I let the team down.”
Despite the loss, the Mets still appear to be headed in the right direction and, even in losing, showed lots of positive signs. There’s real hope that the team could make it to the postseason for the first time in six years on the back of the games they’ve played to date.
The team has had a solid starting rotation but will miss Jason deGrom, who could be out for several months as he recovers from a right shoulder injury. The starters have recorded a 1.59 ERA in his absence and will be counted on to continue to not just hold the fort, but flourish.
Tylor Megill filled in for the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner in a 19th career start on opening day and hit five scoreless innings. Max Scherzer made his debut for the team the following day and was impressive amid recovery from a minor hamstring operation. Chris Bassitt made his Mets debut on Saturday following a trade from the Oakland Athletics last month, throwing six scoreless innings inclusive of eight strikeouts.
Speaking in reference to Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout on Saturday, Bassitt had this to say:
“I don’t care who you are. I’m coming after you. I faced Ohtani a lot. I faced Trout a lot. I don’t care about the name on the back of your jersey, I’m coming.”
Right-hander Carrasco made good on his proclamation with regard to feeling like he had a new elbow after surgery to remove a bone fragment in October, allowing just one run over five and two-thirds innings. He said having a healthy elbow has permitted him to use his full range of pitches.
Carrasco’s only sore point came when designated hitter Nelson Cruz hit a homer to record No.450 for his career during the first inning.
“Carlos is in a different place right now than he’s been in a while,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “It was good to see him get off to a good start to the season because we could use him.”
The team’s offense is already showing improvement following the acquisitions of infielder Eduardo Escobar and outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, which is great for fans as they could take advantage of some of the best promo codes in New York while betting on the Mets. NY struggled offensively last season and was 27th in the MLB in runs scored per game with 3.93. They were also 20th in batting average, 23rd in on-base slugging, and 25th in home runs.
That looks to be on the mend now.
Escobar was 3 for 11 ahead of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday evening and has been playing good defense at third base.
Marte, meanwhile, is 3 for 14 but has hit four runs. Canha had three hits on Sunday and has played every outfield position. The 33-year-old was 7 for 10 at the time of writing.
“The guys who we brought in have blended in real well,” second baseman Jeff McNeil insisted.
While they could not hold on to the lead on Sunday, Carrasco had his best start as he struck five out and didn’t walk any Washington batters.
“There’s a lot of guys, a lot of teams, that it’s all or nothing,” he declared. “This team is not like that. We might be able to hit some homers. We’re just going to grind you until you break. And that’s the mentality we’ve been preaching since Day 1. We have a pitching staff to hold it down until that happens.”
Following the three-game series against Philadelphia that kicks off on Monday, the Mets will face the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Phillies, as well as reigning World Series champs, the Atlanta Braves, will be expected to battle them in the NL East this season.
“This team is really good – the position players, the starting pitchers, everyone,” Carrasco added after Sunday’s loss. “So we showed out there we’re really good. The important thing is to stay healthy and keep playing hard.”