Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Major League Baseball made the call on how it would handle the outbreak within the Marlins and the jeopardy that several games were put into. The Marlins’ season is on pause for a week, the Phillies will not be playing until Friday, and now the Yankees and Orioles will be playing each other this week. There was a growing concern of what would happen if this continued to be a problem, how MLB and Commissioner Rob Manfred would handle it if it hit more teams, and there was never a solid answer given.
Under this dark cloud, the Mets played their second game of two at Fenway Park, coming in off a hot night where the Mets bats finally broke out. Tonight, they not only looked to complete an away sweep, but also to see what their rookie pitcher David Peterson had to contribute. The rotation was in flux following injuries and a disappointing performance by Rick Porcello just two nights before, and an even halfway decent performance by Peterson would go a long way in solidifying a number five in a rotation once deep enough to have competition for the last slot in spring training.
Luckily for the Mets, Peterson gave them more than decent, delivering a great performance in five and two-thirds innings, giving up just two earned runs and striking out three batters. He had to contend with a defense that was less than stellar behind him, with mistakes made by several members of the team, including quite a few notable ones by Jeff McNeil at the hot corner.
At one point Peterson was facing a bases loaded, no outs situation with J.D. Martinez stepping up to the dish. Protecting a three run lead, it looked like things were about to get really bad for the rookie. But Peterson was able to escape the situation giving up just one run, striking out Martinez and a run scoring on a confusing play in the field. Robinson Cano made a force out (that was actually a poorly called line drive) at second and Andrew Benintendi making an egregious base-running mistake, getting tagged out in a rundown, which allowed Kevin Plawecki to score.
The Mets’ batters gave Peterson more than enough run support to Peterson. Other than a two-run J.D. Davis home run off of Pesky’s Pole in the fifth inning, the Mets didn’t score any runs on the long ball, instead playing a pass-the-baton type of approach. Amed Rosario drove in two on an RBI single in the second inning, and Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo both got RBI doubles in the eighth inning.
One of the most heartening developments of the evening was the apparent awakening of Robinson Cano’s bat, as he got two hits tonight, including an RBI double in the second inning. On the other hand, Yoenis Cespedes and Pete Alonso’s bats both appear to still be dormant. Each has had a big homer already this season, Alonso hitting one as part of the home run bonanza last night, but tonight they were the only two starters to not record a hit. Alonso struck out once and Cespedes struck out twice.
Peterson left the game after recording the first two outs in the sixth inning, and the Mets bullpen held it together after that. Drew Smith recorded the final out of the sixth inning, getting Mitch Moreland to strike out and stranding Kevin Pillar at second. Justin Wilson pitched a clean seventh inning, and other than a two out single to Rafael Devers, Dellin Betances pitched a good inning. Hunter Strickland came in the ninth inning to wrap things up, and despite giving up a double to Kevin Pillar, which turned into a run after a couple of groundouts, he got the Mets to the end of the game and a win went in the books.
Despite being a southpaw in Fenway, usually a nightmarish place for a lefty to throw, David Peterson came out of his major league debut with a win, and looks to be a lock for the Mets rotation going forward. He is the first Mets pitcher to secure a win in their debut since Steven Matz did it in 2015. The Mets rotation looks to be in better shape than was thought a few days ago, and hopefully for the rest of the season Peterson can continue to impress. And if the last couple days are any indicator, the Mets aren’t hurting for any offense.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Robinson Canó, +18.5% WPA
Big Mets loser: Pete Alonso, -9.4% WPA
Mets pitchers: +27.1% WPA
Mets hitters: +22.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Amed Rosario single in the second, +14.4 WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jose Peraza single in the third, -7.9% WPA