The Mets’ 2018 season got off to a good start on Thursday afternoon, as the team picked up a 9-4 win against the St. Louis Cardinals in their 57th Opening Day in team history.
The Mets quickly pounced on the shaky Carlos Martinez, scoring one run in the first after a hit by pitch, a walk, and a costly error by Jose Martinez on a Asdrubal Cabrera grounder. After Yadier Molina hit a two-run home run in the top of the second, the next inning was even more successful for the Mets. A trio of walks and some timely hitting by Amed Rosario and Yoenis Cespedes combined to plate two runs to put the Mets back in front of the Cardinals.
Making his second consecutive Opening Day start, Noah Syndergaard had a solid day. In six innings, during which he threw 85 pitches, struck out ten Cardinals, and allowed four runs on six hits. While his line might not blow you away, he looked much better than his 6.00 ERA would indicate. Just two hits did most of the damage, with home runs by Molina and Jose Martinez accounting for three of the Cardinals’ four runs. Syndergaard’s blazing fastball was on full display, averaging 98.4 miles per hour and topping out at 100.1. The most encouraging part of Syndergaard’s start was that he didn’t walk a single batter, only reaching a three-ball count twice.
The Mets’ biggest inning was the fifth, during which they scored five runs against Carlos Martinez and former Met Matthew Bowman. Four different players drove in a run that inning: Adrian Gonzalez, Amed Rosario, Jay Bruce, and Yoenis Cespedes. From that point on, the game was rather quiet, with only two more runs scored between the two teams. Jose Martinez’s home run came in the sixth, and Kevin Plawecki singled in a run in the eighth. In the game, the Mets drew an Opening Day team record record nine walks, matching what the 1969 Mets did in their opener against the Montreal Expos.
The Mets’ bullpen was impressive, to say the least, pitching the final three innings while only allowing one baserunner in total—on a walk. The trio of Robert Gsellman, Anthony Swarzak, and Jeurys Familia struck out five Cardinals, with Gsellman striking out the side in his inning of work.
The Mets have an off day tomorrow before they pick back up Saturday afternoon at 1:10 against St. Louis. In the second game of the season, Jacob deGrom will face off against Michael Wacha.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Yoenis Cespedes +17.9% WPA, Adrian Gonzalez +17.3 WPA
Big losers: Noah Syndergaard -8.5% WPA, Todd Frazier -5.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Yoenis Cespedes’ two-run single in the second inning, +19.3%
Teh sux0rest play: Todd Frazier grounds into a double play in the first inning, -7.3%
Total pitcher WPA: 3.3% WPA-
Total batter WPA: 53.3% WPA+
GWRBI!: Amed Rosario