There was a lot new that was on show for the Mets on Monday night time — a brand new proprietor with a brand new famous person shortstop, a brand new catcher, two new reduction pitchers and a brand new optimism for a brand-new season.
But a well-recognized outdated downside emerged late in the sport that turned a probably uplifting win right into a demoralizing loss, souring the inauguration of the Steven Cohen period.
Jacob deGrom threw fantastically over six robust innings and was even a pressure with the bat. For the primary time in 60 years, a Mets pitcher had the crew’s first hit of the season, and he proceeded to go 2 for Three with an R.B.I. But the Mets bullpen melted down in the eighth inning, and for the 31st time in deGrom’s profession the crew blew a recreation that its ace had positioned on a platter.
The Phillies scored 5 occasions in the eighth inning off Trevor May and Aaron Loup, two relievers added in the course of the Mets busy low season, and Philadelphia surprised the Mets, 5-3, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
It was the primary time the Mets had misplaced on opening day since 2016 and solely their 13th opening day loss since 1970. But as soon as once more, deGrom was left answering questions on the way it felt to pitch properly but not get a win.
“I’ve said it many times before, the goal is to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win,” deGrom mentioned. “A couple of unfortunate things happened there in the eighth.”
Most unlucky was that deGrom was not pitching, though that was in all probability the prudent choice. He was eliminated to guard his well being although he had solely thrown 77 pitches, the final of which hit 100.1 miles per hour.
The Mets had waited 4 days to play their first recreation of the season as a result of their initially scheduled opening sequence in Washington was postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak among the many Nationals gamers and employees members. That meant deGrom had not thrown to batters in 10 days, resulting in a priority about overextending, and probably injuring, the perfect pitcher in baseball on the primary day of the season.
DeGrom mentioned he agreed with the choice, however solely due to the off circumstances of the delayed begin.
“If it was Thursday and normal rest, I don’t think there was any way I’m coming out of that game,” he mentioned.
But it was not the seventh inning that was the issue. Miguel Castro dealt with that one with out permitting a run. To that time the Mets had seemed sharp, getting some wonderful protection to go together with one other deGrom mini gem. Francisco Lindor, the Mets’ new shortstop who formally signed his 10-year, $341 million extension earlier in the day, contributed by kicking off a crisp double play in the second inning, and danced off the sphere along with his teammates.
But every little thing unraveled in the eighth. May, whom the Mets signed as a free agent after he spent six years with the Minnesota Twins, gave up two singles and a stroll to load the bases and Mets Manager Luis Rojas introduced in the left-handed Loup to face Bryce Harper, the Phillies’ left-handed No. Three hitter.
Loup hit Harper in the leg with a pitch, forcing in a run.
“Hitting the first batter started it all and set it off,” mentioned Loup, who, by rule, needed to keep in the sport to face at the least two extra batters or get a double play. J.T. Realmuto singled to left and Alec Bohm hit a bouncer to Luis Guillorme, who had been inserted for protection at third base
But Guillorme’s try and pressure out the lead runner at dwelling sailed vast. James McCann, the Mets’ new catcher, stepped early towards Guillorme and was unable to regulate to catch the ball. It tipped off his glove and skipped behind him, permitting two runs to attain. The last run scored on a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius.
“There was a lot of excitement leading up to this day, and it’s not the way you want it to end,” May mentioned. “It was frustrating. I can’t imagine what it was like to watch it.”
The Mets put collectively a modest rally in the ninth off hard-throwing lefty Jose Alvarado, together with Lindor’s first hit as a Met. With two outs, Kevin Pillar and Lindor singled and Michael Conforto ripped a single to proper, scoring Pillar.
Joe Girardi, the Phillies’ supervisor, opted to go away Alvarado in to face the right-handed Alonso, who tagged a pitch to deep proper subject. For a second it appeared the Mets would possibly take the lead, however as a substitute it was one other recreation deGrom ought to have received that the bullpen — and a few suspect protection — gave away as a substitute.
“Jake shouldn’t have to do everything himself, that’s not what teams are,” May mentioned, and added, “You really want to go out and finish what he started, because it’s masterful most of the time.”