DeGrom’s 10 strikeouts and timely Mets’ offense narrowly defeat the Padres 3-2

DeGrom’s 10 strikeouts and timely Mets’ offense narrowly defeat the Padres 3-2

By Danny Torres 

FLUSHING – Upon arriving at my first game at CitiField for 2021 (yes…you’re reading this correctly…my FIRST game physically inside the ballpark), my mind began to reflect on the previous season that included an abundance of media restrictions, temperature checks, COVID-19 signage posted throughout the ballpark and cardboard fans in the stands. 

Although there were a limited number of reporters seated in designated areas, there was also a distinct sound prevalent throughout the ballpark that was amplified every time a ballplayer stepped into the batter’s box.

The crack of a wooden bat. 

Excitement in Queens

Now with jubilant fans slowly beginning to ease back into their “baseball homes” throughout the league, there’s an excitement permeating throughout Flushing, Queens. 

With a raucous crowd already on their feet at the start of the game, the New York Mets (31-24) faced off against the San Diego Padres Padres (37-28) in a three-game “East Coast-West Coast” series matchup that included a “throwback» faceoff of two former Cy Young Winners: Jacob deGrom and Blake Snell. 

“Jake” versus Blake. Tatis Jr. versus The Polar Bear. 

Can we add Spider Tack versus Spin Rate?

But let’s also include the Amazins’ entered this highly-anticipated weekend in first place in the National League East.

Mr. Untouchable

As expected, deGrom (6-2) has literally been untouchable and yet Snell (2-3) proved to go “Mano a Mano” against his Mets’ adversary.

With deGrom in complete control through four innings, the Mets would have an opportunity to finally score in the bottom of the fourth. Jonathan Villar would start with a leadoff hit and stolen base. With one out, Snell would give up back-to-back walks and with the bases loaded, Dominic Smith grounded into a first-pitch, inning-ending double play.

But for Snell, in his 71-pitch nightcap, the “hiccup” and surprisingly a balk finally kicked in.

Opening the fifth inning, Kevin Pillar and Billy McKinney connected with consecutive doubles to put the Mets up 1-0.

Because of what appeared to be Snell’s indecisiveness on the mound, the umpires called a balk. With runners moving into scoring position, guess who would slap a line drive to left field? 

None other than Jacob deGrom. 

A nail bitter

This 2x National League CY Young Winner, who scored two runs to push the Mets up 3-0, can absolutely hit.

After an 80-pitch, 6.0 inning and 10 strikeout performance, deGrom’s phenomenal night would prove to the naysayers his eliteness in the game. 

With a blink of an eye, Mets’ reliever Miguel Castro would literally turn deGrom’s unbelievable gem into a ‘game’ for the Padres. Castro (who only threw 13 pitches) would strike out the first batter he faced but immediately would give up a double to Fernando Tatis Jr. and a homer by Jake Cronenworth to left-center to put the Padres within a run.

With another pitching change imminent, Mets’ manager Luis Rojas turned to Seth Lugo, who would only need 6 pitches to shut out two batters (including a strikeout) and close out the top of the 7th inning.

As Rojas turned to his bullpen and most importantly his closer Edwin Diaz (earning his 11th save) the Mets closed out an opening night home victory. But as fans desperately wanted to see deGrom go beyond the sixth inning, during the game in the pressbox, the Mets’ Media Relations Department announced deGrom left tonight’s game due to right flexor tendonitis.

Yet in a three-hour spectacle in Flushing, Queens the 26,637 fans in attendance surely didn’t leave disappointed. They were amazed not only at deGrom’s extraordinary pitching but yes…his timely hitting as well.

But, Rojas can only hope deGrom will make his next scheduled start on Wednesday. Stay tuned. 

Escrito por Danny Torres. Twitter:

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DeGrom’s 10 strikeouts and timely Mets’ offense narrowly defeat the Padres 3-2

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