Not too often does a game live up to the hype but this one did. What was the hype? Here’s the last two sentences from yesterday’s recap: Now the Mets face the Braves with Steven Matz making his first start in a month. Friday could be ugly. The Braves and Matz both did their parts, as Atlanta opened the series with a 15-2 win.
In a game featuring two LHP coming off the IL, Max Fried ran his record to 7-0 while Matz saw his fall to 0-5. But Matz had plenty of company in the lousy pitching department. Franklyn Kilome gave up the same six runs as Matz, but in one fewer inning. Jarred Hughes gave up 3 ER in 3.2 IP. The pitching star of the game for the Mets was Todd Frazier, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and even got a strikeout thanks to a generous call from the home plate ump. Frazier threw the ball in the dugout for a keepsake.
It’s pretty darn annoying that the hitting star of yesterday’s game was on the bench because the other team started a lefty. Jeff McNeil was in the lineup and went 1-5. Ditto for Michael Conforto. Dominic Smith was 0-3 and Robinson Cano was 0-1. Brandon Nimmo has historically done just fine against LHP and this automatic benching because of a .650 OPS in 55 PA is a classic case of overreacting to small samples.
The Mets need their best players in the lineup whenever possible. Especially on a night where they figured to need as much offense as possible. But Luis Rojas is a great communicator so we shouldn’t question him for starting Matz and benching Nimmo.