Yes, the Mets lost last night and we’ll see more of that this spring and summer. Even so, there were several things to take out of the game.
Pitching is traditionally ahead of the hitting at this stage, so it’s hard to measure last night’s performance by Dillon Gee and others. Gee looked comfortable in his two innings. What we saw was a lot better than the alternative, which we’ve seen a lot of in the past few springs.
Matt Harvey pitched two scoreless innings, but was all over the place with walks and hitting a batter. Nerves, no doubt.
Offensively, there wasn’t much to speak about, but two things stood out for me. The first was Andres Torres getting on base. He won’t make things happen on the bases like Jose Reyes, but if he’s on he’ll score.
I also enjoyed watching the Mets run and attempt to push things. As we’ve learned, the power won’t always be there so there is the need to manufacture runs. Theoretically, during the season five steals should translate into more than one run.
It’s the first game, so you look for little things to build on. With David Wright not playing, Justin Turner played third and hit in Wright’s spot. I liked that call by Terry Collins because it allowed other players to remain in their spot in the lineup. Rather than juggle, Collins opted to have his hitters remain in order to get acclimated to their roles. That’s important for a building team.
Also on my mind this morning:
* As of now, it appears the Mets might be on the hook for $83 million, but the judge’s decision seems to be in the Wilpon’s favor regarding the $303 million. Given that, shouldn’t the same circumstances that favor Wilpon in the court trial apply to the $83 million ruling? As I said yesterday, there is still the appeal process, so let’s not make too much of the monetary figures now. I also said that if $83 million was the Wilpon’s total hit (save legal fees), then they’d take it.
* Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez handled talking about Gary Carter with the right tone. In situations like that sometimes the announcers can drone on and make the presentation too morbid or sickly mushy. The Mets will have Carter’s family up for Opening Day, which is good gesture.
Yes, Carter had a huge impact on the mid-80s Mets, but I don’t think it is enough to warrant retiring his number. Others on that team, namely Hernandez, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry had an equal, or greater, influence on that team and are also worthy. Don’t retire the number out of sympathy.
ON DECK: Split squad lineups.