Five-hundred is not the goal, but six games into the 2015 season, the Mets have as many wins as they have losses. Considering their first two opponents, that seems like a relatively acceptable outcome. With a win this afternoon in Atlanta, they were able to avoid getting swept by the Braves, which made still made the series as a whole a bit of a letdown coming off the winning series in Washington but much less of one that it would have been with a sweep.
As usual, watching Bartolo Colon pitch was a treat. In his second start of the year, his line wasn’t overwhelming—three runs in seven innings—but he looked a bit better than that in the process. The home run he gave up to Jonny Gomes in the seventh inning to tie the game can’t be written off, but Colon wasn’t all that far from turning in an even better start. In total, he has struck out thirteen opponents in thirteen innings this year and walked just one. He’s given up a home run in each of his starts but still has a 2.77 ERA and 3.13 FIP.
More importantly than all of that, however, was what Colon did at the plate in the fourth inning. With the game tied at two, one out, Wilmer Flores on third base, and the Braves’ infield in, Colon singled the other way to give the Mets to lead. His helmet fell off in the process, and he maintained a big smile throughout the swing. It was Colon’s first run batted in since 2005, and it looked like this.
Speaking of firsts, Michael Cuddyer had one, too, as he hit a two-run home run in the first inning of the game to give the Mets an early lead. He hit a bunch in spring training, but those didn’t count. He hit really well the past couple of years in real games, too, but those games took place in Colorado and make a bunch of people skeptical. Don’t expect the slash line to be as pretty as it was while he played half of his games at Coors Fields, but don’t be shocked by a pretty decent one this year, either.
Once Colon departed the game in favor of a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth—Daniel Murphy, who brought home the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly—the Mets’ bullpen was nearly perfect in finishing off the win. Carlos Torres retired one of the two hitters he faced in the eighth inning before Terry Collins turned to lefty specialist Jerry Blevins with Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman coming up. Blevins struck out both, and Collins sent him back out start the ninth with lefty A.J. Pierzynski set to lead off. He induced a ground ball out from him, too, before Jeurys Familia came in and quickly notched the last two outs of the game.
With that, the Mets are on their way home for the first home stand of the season. They’ll play the Phillies three times in the next three days, with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Jon Niese scheduled to start. A week into the season, things have gone well enough. Perhaps this week they’ll go even better.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jerry Blevins, +20.9% WPA, Curtis Granderson, +14.2% WPA, Michael Cuddyer, +13.6% WPA
Big losers: Juan Lagares, -13.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Cuddyer’s home run, +21.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jonny Gomes’s game-tying home run, -27.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +20.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +29.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Daniel Murphy