The New York Mets, after seeing their scheduled season-opening series against the Washington Nationals postponed because of a COVID-19 cluster within the Nats’ roster, wound up beginning the 2021 season on Monday night against the 3-0 Philadelphia Phillies.
For a while, things went swimmingly for the Mets and new owner Steve Cohen. Early on, shortstop Francisco Lindor, whom the Mets traded for this past offseason and recently inked to a $341 million extension, showed his mellow richness afield with this key double play:
In addition to that nifty 6-4-3 above, Lindor also notched a single and a walk in his debut. For the Mets, the story for most of the night was the dominance of Jacob deGrom:
DeGrom in related matters flashed elite velocity throughout the night, including the fastest pitch of the 2021 season thus far (102 mph to Didi Gregorius in the second). Speaking of which:
That 97.3 mph figure is an average of all of deGrom’s 70 pitches on Monday, not just his fastball. So, he was dominant and he left the game staked to a 2-0 lead. Miguel Castro worked a scoreless seventh for the Mets, and after free agent addition Trevor May struck out Adam Haseley for the first out of the eighth the Mets had an 87.4 percent chance of winning the game. Then all of this happened:
- Pitching change, free agent addition Aaron Loup
- Hit by pitch
- Two-base throwing error by third baseman Luis Guillorme (who was in as a defensive replacement)
Time out for some relevant action footage:
All right, back to it.
At that point, the 2-0 lead was a 5-2 deficit. The Mets plated a run in the ninth off Jose Alvarado, but the Phillies prevailed 5-3 in comeback fashion to move to 4-0 on the season.
That brings us to this true Internet fact from our man in the chopper Mike Axisa:
DeGrom over that same span has worked six or more scoreless innings and received a no decision eight times, which leads all of MLB (via Sarah Langs). And that, naturally enough, begets this:
For the Mets, the first win of the Cohen-Lindor era must wait at least another day. For the Phillies, they haven’t lost a regular season game in 191 days and counting.