I think we all had a bad feeling about this one.
There are some bright sides though. Against my more instinctual pessimism, let’s give optimism a try. Jerry Blevins looked good! And, um, Harvey was solid! Conforto was 2/2 with a double and 2 walks! Bartolo Colon entered the game and struck out a guy!
Unfortunately, the negatives reigned this game. Matt Harvey, though looking very strong at times, was unfortunately more human than the Mets were able to afford. He allowed 8 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) over 5 2/3 innings, striking out 2 and walking 2. Yoenis Cespedes dropped an easy line-drive in left field, helping lead to the first Royals run. By the 6th inning, the Mets were down 4-0, unable to muster anything against an effective but slightly-wild Edinson Volquez.
David Wright looked slow, and came up just shy on a couple of charging plays in the field. In the 9th inning, with the tying run on 3rd base and 1 out, Wright was blown away by sheer velocity from Wade Davis, as he was unable to lift a fly ball to get Alejandro De Aza in from 3rd.
Unfortunately, when it came to close calls (including the strike zone and defense in general), they seemed to go the Royals’ way. I’ll let this excerpt from Fangraphs’ Opening Night Live Blog illustrate my point:
Yeah, that’s pretty much how it went.
Juan Lagares missed a shoestring catch at one point, but did make a fantastic throw to try to get Omar Infante at 3rd base (the call stood on replay review – and honestly, it was extraordinarily too close to call).
But the rallying in the 8th and 9th was certainly a positive sign, even if it came up just short. Replay this game in May or June of last season, and the Mets lose 4-0 as Volquez no-hits them while walking 6.
In the 8th, a single by Juan Lagares and walks by Curtis Grandereson and Yoenis Cespedes loaded the bases with 1 out for Lucas Duda, who was the tying run at the plate. Duda jammed a ball to left field, scoring 2, and Neil Walker brought in a 3rd run on a fielder’s choice grounder. Michael Conforto singled, but Luke Hochevar came in and got Asdrubal Cabrera to strike out with 2 on.
In the 9th, Travis d’Arnaud walked and pinch hitter Alejandro De Aza grounded into a force out. Curtis Granderson singled to center, and De Aza aggressively took 3rd place and slid in safely on a close play. But, Wade Davis struck out David Wright easily, and after a little bit of work struck out Yoenis Cespedes as well.
Say what you will about last night’s game and the Mets’ offensive ineptitude, but it certainly looks like they have the offensive ability not to let any game get away from them. The Mets play the Royals again tomorrow, after an excruciating off day, with Noah Syndergaard opposing former Met Chris Young.