There’s no such thing as a must-win game on April 7th, but coming off of a sweep at the hands of the Brewers where they did not look good all series, the Mets could’ve used convincing win in the home opener to help everyone feel a little better. Luckily, that’s exactly what they got. The Mets toppled the Marlins by a score of 9-3 this afternoon in a fairly convincing fashion.
What’s more, Tylor Megill pitched about as well as the Mets could’ve hoped against the light-hitting Marlins offense. He tossed six scoreless innings, making him the first Mets starting pitcher this season to deliver a scoreless outing. He struck out only three and walked two, while scattering three hits. Megill’s velocity wavered as it did in his first start, and he wasn’t truly dominant or overpowering like we saw him be at the early part of last season, but he more than did his job today. This was probably Megill’s best start since early last year.
On the other side, the Mets offense didn’t exactly sting the ball early on, but the Marlins pitching just could not throw strikes. Edward Cabrera started it by walking Brandon Nimmo to lead off the game, and that kind of set the tone for the whole game. Cabrera stranded Nimmo at second, but walked two more in the second inning. The Mets could not get either runner across, though, as Cabrera continued to walk the tightrope and escape without any damage.
In the third, Cabrera walked the first three batters of the inning. He had amassed six walks before recording an out in the third, but had yet to allow a run. The Mets had the table set, though, with Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil coming up.
Amazingly, Cabrera fought his way back to strike out both Alonso and McNeil, and it looked like he was about to escape another jam. But he couldn’t reign in his control long enough and walked Mark Canha, his seventh free pass of the game, to force in the first run. Skip Schumaker had seen enough, and pulled his young starter there.
The Mets weren’t done in the inning, though. Daniel Vogelbach was next and grounded a ball to the right side that the pitcher, Huascar Brazoban, didn’t get over to cover first base on, and Vogelbach beat it out to score another run. It was, amazingly, the Mets’ first hit of the game. They led 2-0.
As Megill continued to hold the Marlins scoreless, the Mets added a third run in the fourth on an RBI single by Pete Alonso, and another in the sixth inning on Starling Marte’s first homer of the season.
More walks by Marlins pitching set the Mets up in the seventh, as this time it was Tanner Scott’s turn to lose the plate. He loaded the bases with nobody out on two walks and a hit by pitch, and the Mets pushed across two more runs on a groundout by Eduardo Escobar and a sacrifice fly by Tomas Nido to make it 6-0.
After Adam Ottavino delivered a perfect seventh with two strikeouts, the Marlins finally made some noise against Dennis Santana in the eighth. Two walks with two outs set it up for Garrett Cooper, who blasted a three-run homer over the center field wall to cut the Mets lead in half to 6-3. Suddenly, a game that looked comfortably in hand was a little tight.
Brooke Raley came in and gave up a hit, but was able to escape that eighth inning. The game wasn’t tight for long, though. The Mets got all three runs back in the bottom half of the inning. A walk by Nimmo, the Mets’ 12th of the game, preceded back-to-back home runs by Francisco Lindor and Alonso. The Mets jumped low led by a comfortable score of 9-3, and Denyi Reyes held it down in the ninth to secure the home opener victory.
The Mets get back in the win column after getting swept by Milwaukee. They improve to 4-4 on the young season.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Tylor Megill, + 27.7% WPA
Big Mets loser: Eduardo Escobar -9.3% WPA
Mets pitchers: +28.5% WPA
Mets hitters: +21.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Mark Canha draws a bases-loaded walk in the third inning, +12.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Luis Arraez doubles to right in the third inning, -4.8% WPA