Gut Reaction: 3/31/18 Mets 6, Cardinals 2

The New York Mets were able to swing their way into a second consecutive victory to open their season, for only the second time since 2013 after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2.
The bats were alive today, as every starter except for Jay Bruce notched a hit. The offensive surge began in the first inning, as Todd Frazier laced a double to score Yoenis Cespedes and Bruce, who was on base following a fielder’s choice. Asdrubal Cabrera had led the inning off with a double, but was retired with Bruce’s fielder’s choice. The Mets led 2-0 until the fourth inning.
On the mound, Jacob deGrom was very effective. His only trouble came in the top of the fourth inning, when he allowed an RBI single to Jose Martinez to drive in Tommy Pham. Other than that, deGrom was his normal elite self despite a high pitch count. His final line was 5.2 innings pitched, an earned run, and seven strikeouts.
Travis d’Arnaud quickly got the run back for the Mets, as he lined a home run over the left field fence to increase the lead to 3-1. In the next inning, Cespedes drove a home run over the same wall off of Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, bumping the lead to 4-1.
In the eighth inning, Anthony Swarzak came on in relief following a strong outing from Rob Gsellman. Swarzak allowed a homerun to Matt Carpenter, cutting the Met lead to 4-2. Swarzak then left the game with left quad soreness. This led to Jeurys Familia coming in for the Mets, and he would go onto close the door on the game. The final score would go on to be 6-2.
After moving from cleanup spot on Opening Day to leadoff today, Cabrera showed his versatility as a player. He went 3-5 on the day, including an RBI. My Gut Reaction is that Cabrera will move all around the lineup this season, but it won’t affect his approach at the plate.
The Mets will go for the sweep tomorrow as Steven Matz will take the mound against Luke Weaver at 1:10 on SNY.

9 comments for “Gut Reaction: 3/31/18 Mets 6, Cardinals 2

  1. TexasGusCC
    April 1, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Several reactions to today’s game:
    1. Cabrera is looking very good so far.
    2. Bruce opened the season in a slump, it seems. Batting a .250 hitter third isn’t ideal, but the lineup otptions call for it. He popped up a meatball from a lefty to the SS on the first pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and only one out. Plattoon candidate?
    3. Happy to see the line drive approach so far, without the long swings. Cespedes has accepted the role of the best hitter on the team openly, and that means he is calling himself out to produce. Good signs seem to be shown so far.

    Off topic from the Phillies-Braves game, that might get lost during Easter weekend for you all:

    -When Gabe Kapler took over the managerial position for the Phils, I kind of wasn’t impressed with his persona from what I read. He seemed intelligent but too full of himself – spoke like he was God’s gift to baseball – and I figured that would hurt the Phillies. Well, Saturday night something happened that in my four decades of following baseball pretty closely, I have never heard of. Kapler went to the mound and removed a pitcher without having anyone throwing in the bullpen (there should be some penalty for this, but no one knew of one because no one ever expected it).

    Worse, Dan O’Dowd, a former GM and seemingly smart and astute individual, said that the Phillies in the early part have shown troublesome signs for the Front Office. Players are not hitting the cut-off man, they are making several mental mistakes, and Kapler’s move that night was one of embarrassment to the team. Hopefully they don’t figure things out too quickly and can be taken advantage of by the Mets when they come to Citifield this Monday. Those kinds of opportunities good teams must feast on; when the other team is in disarray.

    • TexasGusCC
      April 1, 2018 at 12:33 am

      Oh, I didn’t say what happened due to Kapler’s faux pas.

      First, he took too long to make the change, forcing the Phillies to go over the time allotted for the pitching change, but the umpires allowed it. Then, the umpires allowed the reliever to take extra warmups to warmup, causing Brian Snitka (the Braves manager) to go bezerk out on the field. He was right.

    • April 1, 2018 at 8:54 am

      I don’t wish to minimize Kapler’s screw-up.

      I’d just like to chime in with the notion that how you described Kapler – too full of himself and acting like God’s gift to baseball – would be a pretty good description of O’Dowd, too.

      • Pete in Iowa
        April 1, 2018 at 11:08 am

        While you may be correct in your description of O’Dowd Brian, I must say, I find him a breath of fresh air on MLB. Way too much patronizing on air over there by the likes of Amsinger, Reynolds and others. It gets to the point that it’s like listening to analysts during a women’s sports event where, apparently, bad plays are never made.
        I get a little tired of hearing how good everyone and every team is. It’s nice to get an honest perspective from time to time.

        • April 1, 2018 at 12:01 pm

          This is my first exposure to MLB Network and I have to say I’m underwhelmed. Maybe I haven’t caught the right shows but what I’ve seen hasn’t made me forget Baseball Tonight on ESPN, which isn’t exactly a high bar.

  2. Chris F
    April 1, 2018 at 9:33 am

    It’ll be interesting to see what a team run entirely by metrics will turn out. My prediction? Total disaster. Kapler won’t even make it through the season. It turns out the game is not an algorithm. There will be serious discontent building running s team like Kapler does.

    On the flip side, I’m enamored with Callaway and his staff. Love everything he’s doing.

    • April 1, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      Let’s state for the record that nowhere in the stat handbook does it say to bring in a reliever who hasn’t warmed up.

      When you make pro or con judgments, make sure to distinguish between bone head moves made by an individual and philosophies of an approach.

      • Chris F
        April 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm

        Of course. But the stratomatic plan of Kapler is a total dud. On day 2, its already a bust.

  3. Metsense
    April 1, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Two victories against a preseason playoff contender is the tone the team needs to set. Cespedes has come out of the gates strong and like him batting second vs RHP. The bullpen has been effective and looks properly used. Surprised that Lagares started over Nimmo with a right handed pitcher on the mound even with Callaway’s explanation. Everything is working, everything feels good.

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