Pitching Looks Good in the Game
The New York Mets, after losing 2-0 on Monday, picked up their first Spring Training win today. The Mets’ second game of Spring Training was spent working off the rust. Making judgements early in the spring, or during Spring Training at all for that matter, is something that should not be done. Seeing early positives is the best way to approach watching Spring Training games, especially with Opening Day a full 30 days away. Sticking with that theme of early positives, starting pitcher Marcus Stroman provided lots of those in this game. Stroman threw 30 pitches in his two perfect innings and struck out two batters. Stroman’s two-seam fastball had a lot of life on it and his off-speed stuff seems to be rounding into shape well. In addition to Stroman, Jordan Yamamoto looked solid in his Mets debut on the mound. Yamamoto pitched two shutout innings and allowed just two baserunners.
Some Prospective Arms Shine Out
Stroman has obviously locked up a spot in the Mets rotation, likely slotting into the second or third spot in the rotation. Stroman picked up the win for the Mets today. Yamamoto, on the other hand, is someone who is a possible seventh, sixth, or even fifth starter. If he is able to find enough success throughout the spring or if there are injuries or spot starts needed. During the SNY Broadcast they showed a graphic that Yamamoto had the third lowest batting average against in 2019. To be able to find that form would be huge for Yamamoto and the Mets in 2021. The outing in this game was a definite good first step toward that return to form. As for other pitchers, the Mets got a solid outing from Drew Smith who pitched a perfect sixth inning on just 12 pitches.
The biggest pitcher the Mets had all eyes on was Sam McWilliams who was a minor pickup this offseason on a major league deal. McWilliams is expected to be another guy to compete for the final rotation spot. He is different from guys like Yamamoto or David Peterson in that he has zero Major League experience. McWilliams’ seventh inning started off a little rough giving up a leadoff hit followed by a walk but he settled in. McWilliams retired the next three batters to seal the win for the Mets. The six foot seven inch right hander showed a really good curveball to pair with a high 90s fastball. McWilliams struck out his final two batters, really battling and putting a nice repertoire on display.
Offense Lags, But Some Players Look Good
The Mets offense put two runs on the board which is about normal for this early in Spring Training. Hitters are usually around a week behind pitchers at this point in the season due to difficulty timing up pitchers. The Mets two runs came on hits from Jeff McNeil and Albert Almora Jr. who each homered in the game. Brandon Nimmo has been on time so far this spring, getting three hits in his first two games. While the rest of the lineup gets going, it will be interesting to see how middle of the order guys do that. Players like Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and Michael Conforto who are expected to be the heart of the Mets. This 2-0 win was a nice game to watch for the first televised Mets game in nearly five months.
The Mets also gave fans a slice of the future at the end of this Spring Training win. Third baseman Brett Baty and outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong each got at bats in the game. The Mets will play again tomorrow but won’t be back on TV until Thursday when they play on ESPN.