The Mets’ opening day win over the Braves was a truly solid team performance. There was good fundamental baseball. No home runs were hit, but when players got in scoring position they mostly scored. Every player who got into the game contributed to the 6-0 win, as will be detailed below.
Noah Syndergaard, the starting pitcher, was awesome. He hurled six scoreless innings, struck out seven and issued zero walks. He also smacked a base hit. Lets hope that blister that forced him out of the game is not serious.
Catcher Rene Rivera got the key single that ignited the Mets big seventh inning. His catching style also kept Sydergaard in his comfort zone. Replacement catcher Travis d’Arnaud pinch ran for Rivera and proceeded to break up a double play, and he later drew a walk.
First baseman Lucas Duda cleared the bases with a line shot double driving home three runners to pretty much put the game away in the seventh inning.
Second baseman Neil Walker drew a walk and scored in the seventh. Like the rest of the team he played error-free ball.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera went three for five, drove in the go-ahead run, scored a run and stole a base as well.
Center fielder Curtis Granderson got a base hit, and more importantly hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh to drive in a run.
Right fielder Jay Bruce showed a lot of selectivity at the plate, he worked three bases on balls and scored a run on the Duda homer.
Wilmer Flores pinch hit in the seventh, and got on via a fielders choice. Despite not being particularly fleet of foot, he proceeded to steal second base. Then he scored the go-ahead run on Cabrera’s single, despite a great throw from Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte. True, Flores’ slide may have been a little “goofy”, but he did elude the tag, as replay showed.
The Met bullpen did the job. Hansel Robles retired the Braves in order in the seventh to get the win. Fernando Salas struck out two and gave up no hits in the eighth inning. Robert Gsellman did yield two meaningless hits in the ninth in what was essentially a warm up for his scheduled start later this week.
Manager Terry Collins made a successful replay challenge on the Flores play at the plate, which was probably the key moment of the entire game. He also managed the bullpen well.
All in all it was a great team effort and a very fine way to kick off the 2017 season.