The Mets hit a couple of homers, but that is the least important thing to take out of their 6-2 victory today over the Cardinals. Instead, focus on how they made things happen on the bases; how Jacob deGrom was effective despite not having his best stuff; and how Mickey Callaway will handle his stressed bullpen tomorrow.
DE GROM: Grinds it out. (AP)
Small ball prevails again: Callaway stressed base running in spring training and the Mets kept the pressure on all day. In the first, Jay Bruce scored from first on Todd Frazier’s two-run double, with Frazier taking third on the throw home. … Then, in the seventh, even more impressive than his homer, was Yoenis Cespedes tagging and taking third on Frazier’s shallow sacrifice fly.
There seems something different about the Mets’ offense. It’s refreshing to see their hustle and patience at the plate.
Of course, it has only been two games.
DeGrom grinds it out: Throwing 101 pitches in 5.2 innings is indicative of deGrom not having his best stuff, in particular, his change-up was off.
“I felt good early on,’’ deGrom said. “But, I thought I was flying open a little bit and it was tough to grip the ball. There are days when you have your best stuff and days you don’t. That’s when you have to bear down.’’
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who hit the Mets’ first homer of the season, said deGrom reached another level as evidenced by seven strikeouts.
“He didn’t have his best stuff,’’ d’Arnaud said. “But, he went out and made the pitches when he had to.’’
Not all peachy: These being the Mets, of course, there’s always a glitch. Today it was Anthony Swarzak straining his left oblique muscle, which forced Jeurys Familia to get a four-out save.
Swarzak’s answer as to the severity of the injury illustrated how new he is to the Mets: “I’m not a doctor, so I really don’t know. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully, this is just a little scare.’’
GM Sandy Alderson never answered an injury-related question in that manner.
It’s likely Swarzak will miss several games – it would be wise not to pitch him in the chilly weather – but could end up on the disabled list.
It will be interesting to see what Callaway does Sunday if faced with a save situation. Familia threw 30 pitches today, but Callaway said early in camp he wasn’t married to having a designated closer.
Given that don’t be surprised if AJ Ramos gets the ball in the ninth.