The New York Mets started off the second half of their season in a strong way, as they burst out of the gate with a 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium.
In a game that saw the return of Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets lineup, the Mets got off to a hot start early in the game. The first inning was a successful one for the Mets, as they scored three runs to get on the board early. Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Conforto, and Jose Bautista each laced a double in that inning to out the Mets up.
In the third inning came a sight for sore eyes for Mets fans. Cespedes hit a home run in his first game back, but it wasn’t his typical bomb-like shot. Instead, he hooked a ball that appeared like it would be a foul ball down the left field line. It ended up being a weak ball off of the foul pole that traveled all of 314 feet, but nonetheless put the Mets ahead 4-0.
Starting on the mound for the Mets was Noah Syndergaard, who pitched like he had four hours of sleep under his belt, but got his job done regardless. Despite allowing a single in every inning that he pitched, Syndergaard was able to battle through his slight struggles to limit any significant damage. Syndergaard’s visible exhaustion on the mound concerned manager Mickey Callaway enough to the point that he talked to Syndergaard on the mound. He proved to be fine however, and finished his five innings with one earned run allowed and four strikeouts, and threw 85 pitches.
After Syndergaard was finished for the evening, the bullpen team of Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman came in for relief. That’s when the Yankees started to chip into the lead, as they scored two runs in the sixth inning off of Lugo, and two runs in the eighth inning off of Gsellman to cut into the lead. However, Gsellman was able to march back out in the ninth inning and earn the save.
Something important happened in the top of the ninth, and it showed some growth on behalf of this team. The Mets played small ball to earn their insurance run, which is something that seems to have evaded this team this season. After Cabrera singled and then advanced to second on a wild pitch, Wilmer Flores grounded out to Neil Walker to move Cabrera to third. Following that out, Conforto flew out to drive Cabrera in, earning the sacrifice fly and an honest insurance run. My Gut Reaction is that if the Mets continue to make the right plays like they did in the ninth inning, the second half of the season will be more fruitful than the first.