Things started off very well for the Mets in this afternoon’s game against the Astros in West Palm Beach, as Jason Vargas tossed four scoreless innings and the Mets put up a three spot in the second inning against Framber Valdez. Vargas gave up just three hits and struck out three; two of his four innings were 1-2-3 innings.
The Mets were able to generate some hard contact against Valdez in the second inning. Pete Alonso led off the inning with an effortless laser double to left center. Danny Espinosa then hit a ball hard, but Josh Reddick made a nice catch and Alonso tagged up and went to third base. Gregor Blanco and Devin Mesoraco then smacked back-to-back extra base hits to put the Mets ahead 2-0. Amed Rosario hit a ball up the middle that went through the legs of Valdez for an error and Brandon Nimmo followed with a single to make the score 3-0. That would do it for the scoring for the Mets on the afternoon, as they were held at bay by Will Harris, Brad Peacock, and J.B. Bukauskas.
Meanwhile, Seth Lugo followed Vargas with a scoreless inning, but the Astros came back to take the lead against Luis Avilan and Jacob Rhame. It was the first poor outing of the spring for Avilan, but to his credit it was mostly soft contact that he gave up. Nonetheless, the Astros strung together four singles in a row in the sixth to make the score 3-2. Jacob Rhame gave up a solo home run to Nick Tanielu in the seventh to tie the game at three and then the Astros took the lead against him in the eighth. Rhame loaded the bases with nobody out and was able to strike out A.J. Reed on three pitches, but Kyle Tucker got a hold of one and sent it to right field and Rymer Lirano was unable to locate the baseball and it dropped for a double to give the Astros a 5-3 lead.
Rhame was then removed from the game in favor of Eric Hanhold. The Astros added a run on a stinging liner from Nick Tanielu that would have been destined for the outfield if not for a sparkling pick by Adeiny Hechavarria. However, Hechavarria’s throw home did not come in time to nab Yordan Alvarez at the plate. Hanhold was then able to get Garrett Stubbs to ground into a double play to mercifully end the inning with the Astros ahead 6-3, which is how the game would end.
Some other highlights from today’s action:
- Josh Reddick came out on the losing end of a collision at first base with Pete Alonso, who is a very large man, as Reddick found out the hard way. Reddick appears to be okay, however.
- Brandon Nimmo had a good day at the plate, collecting three hits on the afternoon.
- Jeff McNeil looked comfortable in the field at third base, making a nice diving stop in the fourth inning on a rope the other way from Michael Brantley and holding him to a single. McNeil also fielded a grounder from Tyler White to start a double play to end the fourth inning.
Full box score: MLB.com
The Mets head to Jupiter tomorrow to face off against the Miami Marlins at 1:05pm. It is Jacob deGrom’s turn in the rotation, but the Mets have not yet listed an official starter for tomorrow’s game.