The Mets have defeated the Cardinals, 9-4 in their first game of the 2018 season, winning their 37th Opening Day game in franchise history.
The theme of today’s game was smallball offense, with the Mets’ batters forcing ten walks and using an on-base approach rather than the swing-for-the-fences approach we have been accustomed to seeing in recent years. Every positional starter in today’s game reached base, and the entire club amounted a dozen hits in today’s game. Both Kevin Plawecki and Adrian Gonzalez each reached base four times, got two hits, and hit an RBI.
Mickey Callaway’s unorthodox decision in starting Amed Rosario in the 9-spot paid dividends in today’s game, as Rosario got two RBIs and two hits in four at-bats.
Brandon Nimmo also looked very productive filling in for Michael Conforto in center field. Nimmo showed great plate discipline and was able to draw a walk and get two hits.
Noah Syndergaard had a very good outing, striking out 10 batters in six innings of work. His statline is pretty misleading, however, as he gave up four runs and two home runs despite throwing very good pitches and showing great resolve after allowing those two home runs. Syndergaard once again flashed his elite velocity on several occassions.
Both Robert Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak had stress-free relief appearances, with Gsellman striking out the side in the seventh inning and Swarzak striking out one batter in his Mets debut.
The Mets chased Carlos Martinez early in today’s contest, as the Cardinals’ ace struggled mightily. The 25-year old found himself pitching behind the count frequently, and allowed six walks in just 4.1 innings of work.
Tom’s Player of the Game: Kevin Plawecki
There were several deserving candidates for the player of the game award for today’s game, but Plawecki will take the crown after going 2 for 3, hitting an RBI and getting two walks in today’s game. It wasn’t like Plawecki was getting flukey hits either, he made solid contact on both of his hits. Although it’s only one game, if Plawecki can keep this performance up, he will be show he is much more than just a backup catcher.
Next Game: Saturday, vs. STL (Probables: deGrom vs. Wacha)
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens