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Mets Morning News: Mets win their first series in 2018

Your Sunday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets remain undefeated in 2018, beating the Cardinals 6-2 in yesterday’s game and taking the first series of the season. Jacob deGrom—as is his way—pitched an excellent game despite not having his best stuff, giving up only 1 run over 5 23 innings with 7 strikeouts and continuing to be the best at day games. A high pitch count knocked deGrom out earlier than Mickey Callaway and the Mets would have liked, but the bullpen finished off the game strong. Anthony Swarzak, however, was forced out of the game by an apparent oblique injury. Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud homered for New York and Todd Frazier knocked in three runs.

Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, Times, Post, Daily News, Bergen Record,, Newsday

The Mets continue to honor Rusty Staub. The team had Staub’s #10 jersey hanging up in the dugout during today’s game. They will also have commemorative patches on the right sleeve of their uniforms for the rest of the season in Rusty’s memory.

Jay Jaffe also wrote a wonderful tribute to Le Grand Orange for Fangraphs, remembering his career on and off the field and showcasing just how much he meant to the game of baseball.

Bucking the general trend of shying away from older players, the Mets have a lot of players on their roster over 30, in whom significant money is invested. James Wagner talked to some of the veterans on the Mets, who see their age as an advantage of experience, not a weakness.

Mickey Callaway emphasized good baserunning in spring training to make up for the roster’s overall dearth of speed. Tim Britton explores how much an improvement in baserunning could help the Mets in 2018.

Travis d’Arnaud is trying not to overthink things at the plate. It’s working so far, as evidenced by his home run in yesterday’s game.

Yoenis Cespedes also launched his first home run of the season yesterday. He has demonstrated that he can hit over 30 home runs when healthy and that is a key to the Mets’ success.

Anthony DiComo reports that it seems likely Jason Vargas will miss at least two turns through the rotation. He is scheduled to throw a simulated game tomorrow.

The Mets fan who tweeted that he would dye his hair blonde if Noah Syndergaard struck out at least ten batters on Opening Day has followed through on his proclamation.

Around the National League East

Gabe Kapler’s nightmarish start as Phillies manager continues, as a miscommunication resulted in Kapler being on the mound ready to remove his beleaguered starter Vince Velasquez before a relief pitcher was warmed up and ready to enter the game. Braves’ manager Brian Snitker, none too pleased with Kapler’s subsequent stalling, was promptly ejected from the game. Oh, and then the Phillies had to use a position player to pitch in the game, having burned through their bullpen in the third game of the season. Mercifully for the Phillies, they have an off day to regroup before coming to New York to take on the Mets tomorrow.

Adam Eaton collected five hits in the Nationals’ rout of the Reds yesterday.

Jarlin Garcia put forth a Herculean effort in the Marlins’ 17-inning marathon victory against the Cubs on Friday, pitching six shutout innings in relief. The Marlins and Cubs went to extras again yesterday, this time with the Cubs coming out on top.

Around Major League Baseball

Shohei Ohtani is set to take the mound today for the Angels after serving as their designated hitter on Opening Day. Tim Keown emphasizes how big of a deal this historic moment really is.

Ichiro’s still got it. He robbed Jose Ramirez of a home run in Seattle’s game against the Indians yesterday, reaching above the fence to snatch the ball otherwise destined for the Indians’ bullpen.

Kevin Pillar became the first Blue Jay in history to steal three bases in one inning, as he stole second, third, and home against Dellin Betances in the 8th inning of the Jays’ victory over the Yankees.

The Yankees have signed former Met Oliver Perez to a minor league contract.

Speaking of former Mets, Casey Meisner was traded to the Cardinals from the Athletics in exchange for right-hander Josh Lucas.

Trade talks are Brew-ing (ha) between the Brewers and the Dodgers that reportedly involve Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, and Dodgers prospects.

The Angels have placed second baseman Ian Kinsler on the 10-day disabled list, to be replaced by Nolan Fontana on the roster.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Lukas Vlahos gave us the final installment of his four-part State of the Mets series, taking a look at the future of the franchise.

Chris McShane covered the Swarzak injury.

This Date in Mets History

On April 1, 1997, the Mets squared off against the Padres in the first ever Opening Day matchup between the two teams. It didn’t go so well.