Gut Reaction: Mets 1, Braves 0 (7/24/20)

The weirdest, most unpredictable MLB season to date got underway in what has become a traditional way, with the Mets starting the year with a win, as they shut out the Braves, 1-0, Friday afternoon in Citi Field. The Mets are now 39-12 in their last 51 Opening Day games.

It was a day game and Jacob deGrom was just as masterful as ever in the sunshine. He threw five shutout innings and allowed just one scratch hit, on what could easily have been a comebacker. But he was pulled after just 72 pitches, with the Mets wanting to keep him to 80 pitches in his first start.

Seth Lugo threw two scoreless innings and he was followed by Justin Wilson and Edwin Diaz, as four hurlers combined on the shutout.

The Mets’ only run came courtesy of a Yoenis Cespedes homer in the seventh inning. Cespedes has now homered in the last three games he’s played.

Brandon Nimmo had two hits and Jeff McNeil crushed the ball three times but had just one hit to show for it. But he wasn’t robbed like J.D. Davis was, as Ender Inciarte took away a homer from Davis with a leaping grab over the wall.

Robinson Cano hit sixth in the game and was removed after seven innings for defensive reasons. Andres Gimenez came on in his place and made a nice change-of-direction play that perhaps Cano would not have been able to make. Gimenez went to cover second on a steal attempt but had to go back towards first base to field the batted ball. It wasn’t particularly hard hit, so maybe Cano could have gotten it. But Gimenez made it an easy play.

Dellin Betances was warming in the bullpen to pitch the eighth inning but after the Cespedes homer, Wilson came on to pitch instead. Everyone held their breath when Diaz came on in the ninth. But outside of a 3-0 pitch that Freddie Freeman crushed foul, he got the job done without too much stress.

deGrom has now made 22 starts against the Braves in his career and has allowed just 30 ER in 142.1 IP for a 1.90 ERA. But he didn’t factor into the decision and has just a lifetime 7-7 mark despite his fantastic pitching against the division rival.

10 comments for “Gut Reaction: Mets 1, Braves 0 (7/24/20)

  1. Mike W
    July 24, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Nice Win. I thought we were going to choke after Ramos missed the inside fastball for a passed ball. Diaz makes me nervous, but he came through. Nice assortment of pitches. 1-0 and 59 to go.

  2. July 24, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    If Petey and Ces put up great ……great numbers during this 60 game “season ” could they be the most dangerous 1-2 punch in MLB ?

  3. Metsense
    July 24, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Rojas made all the decisions and there was plenty of tough decisions. I especially liked Nimmo leading off, Cano batting sixth and the late game defensive replacements. It was a good win!

    • MattyMets
      July 25, 2020 at 11:43 am

      So refreshing to see a Mets manager make smart in-game decisions.

  4. John Fox
    July 24, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Jeff McNeil must be a secret acrobat with that summersalting slide into third. I have no idea why he ran on a grounder hit to short

    • July 25, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Yeah, he’s too good of a player to make a decision like that. What’s crazy is that the initial “jump” he made to avoid the tag was successful. He was tagged out before he got the bag but the play at 3B was actually closer than the play at 2B where he was initially called out and then ruled safe on replay. It’s just that he was so far from the bag when he made the jump that the fielder still had time to recover and apply the tag.

  5. José
    July 25, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Just noticed Mets picked up former Twins 2B Brian Dozier. Didn’t really know who he was, but BR says he hit 42 and 34 HRs in 2016-2017 with OPS+ 134 and 126 respectively, and a GG in the latter year.

    How did the Mets get him so cheap? Is it that he’s just a refugee from The Island Of Misfit Toys?

    • Mike W
      July 25, 2020 at 10:29 am

      The same reason that any team gets a player cheap. Because he stinks.

    • July 25, 2020 at 10:33 am

      Dozier’s a 2B and generally speaking, the aging pattern for 2B is different from other players on the diamond. The two years you referenced were his age 29 and 30 seasons. The last two years, he’s put up 89 and 95 OPS+ numbers. It’s yet another reminder why you don’t allocate nine digits of salary for a 2B for his age 36-40 seasons.

      Jose – please keep comments focused on the article topic. This was about Friday’s game and the comments should be about Friday’s game. If you have something you want to discuss that’s not about the article – please use the Open Threads published on Wednesdays, even if it’s no longer Wednesday. Thanks.

  6. TexasGusCC
    July 25, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Didn’t get to see the game, but in order of what I enjoyed the most:
    1. Obviously, the win.
    2. The lineup. Seems like reality may prevail this year for a change.
    3. The Cespedes bomb. Go Yoenis!
    4. The defensive substitution late in the game. Good to see that player limitations are recognized.
    5. Davis made a very loud out to centerfield, but Alonzo continues a pre-season swoon and if this goes into game 2, should be switched with Yoenis, who has looked good in the early going. Patience should not be a virtue this year.

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