It is the moment that every baseball player would call a nightmare and Kevin Pillar experienced it last night. Pillar took a pitch squarely in the face leaving a stream of blood in the batters box before he walked off on his power. Braves pitcher Jacob Webb was clearly shaken after he threw the pitch and I warn you all looking at this replay is not something I would do as it was a scary moment you never want to see,
Pillar was taken to a local hospital where he will undergo tests and we all hope for the best. But Pillar was not the only Met to leave the game with an injury as Taijuan Walker only pitched 3 innings leaving the game with left side tightness Sean Reid-Foley replaced Walker and was brilliant giving the Mets 3 scoreless innings keeping the game a scoreless tie until the Mets plated 2 runs on a pinch hit James McCann RBI double followed by that bases loaded hit batsmen on Kevin Pillar
The Met added a run on an RBI hit from Johneshwy Fargas playing in his first major league game and the bullpen held the lead with Edwin Diaz earning his sixth save of the season. This was a supreme gut check win for the Mets as injuries continue to mount losing 2 more players after both Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto were put on the injured list prior to the game joining a plethora of Mets on that list.
But this team has a resolve to stay focused despite what is happening around them and on this night that concept was illustrated in living color as they lost their starting pitcher early in the game and then the horrific Kevin Pillar moment occurred. And you could totally understand how their focus might have become disjointed. But this group would have none of that because they pick each other up. They knew despite all that happened this was a key game coming off a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Rays and tangling with the Braves for the first time this season.
You had players making contributions in their major league debuts and back up catcher Tomas Nido pitched in with a career high 3 hit night while Sean Reid Foley , Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz rounded out the night. The win keeps the Mets in sole possession of first place in the NL East and widened their lead in the loss column to 4 over the Phils, 5 over the Nats and 6 over the Braves.
Granted the Mets have played far less games than any of the NL East teams but nonetheless that loss column lead is VERY significant even this early in the season. And the team’s 10-5 record in the division is a big reason they sit in NL East Penthouse.
Given everything this team has had to withstand, that is a major accomplishment And this 3-1 Met win in Atlanta proves so much about the character and resiliency of this squad. With that Met injured list becoming a small city they will have to show more of that. And I have the feeling they will.