By Rich Coutinho-Met Beat Reporter-The NY Extra .com
No team in baseball has a better opening day record than the Mets. In fact, no team in the NFL, NBA, or NHL does either and those who follow the Mets know they now own a record of 39-20 in openers which is pretty amazing when you consider the lost their opener in the first 8 years of their existence and actually never won one till 1970.
On this day, both Jacob deGrom and Yoenis Cespedes proved how much of an impact they could have in this truncated 60 game season. Cespedes crushed a solo homer for the game’s only run in the bottom of the seventh inning and deGrom showed once again he does what it takes each and every day.
On this day, the back to back Cy Young Award winner threw 5 innings of 1-hit shutout ball and that Met bullpen which was the team’s Achilles heel a year ago threw four scoreless innings as Seth Lugo, Justin Wilson, and Edwin Diaz combined for 7 strikeouts and just 2 harmless hits sealing the win.
For Edwin Diaz it was a reminder of how dominating he could be as he struck out both Marcel Ozuna and Matt Adams in that final frame with the tying run on base earning the save. As this season progresses, this Met bullpen will be front and center deciding how far this team will go and their effort on this Opening Day was picture perfect.
For Luis Rojas, he could not ask for a better day–his ace showed why he is the best pitcher in the game, his new DH Yoenis Cespedes got the game winning hit and his bullpen looked relaxed and dominated the Brave lineup.
In a 60 game season, connecting the efforts of your big hitters, your starting pitchers and your late inning relievers will be how a team defines success. Jacob deGrom looked like he was in mid-season form actually hitting triple digits on the radar gun a few time. “I just tried to stay smooth and the ball felt great coming out of my hand”, says deGrom.
The velocity is one thing but the late movement on all his pitches really impressed me with a shortened summer camp and to me it was amazing that his slider and change up looked great as well especially facing the big Brave hitters like Freddie Freeman and Marcel Ozuna.
For Luis Rojas, the rookie manager could not have asked for a better Opening Day with each part of his team contributing to a 1-0 win. And for Yoenis Cespedes to have a special moment in his first game back in the lineup was a magical moment to say the least.
For The New York Mets, it was business as usual on Opening Day improving their Opening Day record to 39-20–the best of any team in baseball history.