The New York Mets looked like a completely different ball team while playing a doubleheader against NL East rival the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday April 13, after such a big signing in the offseason bring in star shortstop Francisco Lindor from Cleveland over to Queens. Combining that with players Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, and Jonathan Villar, Kevin Pillar, and Brandon Nimmo is roster with kinds of talent. I believe this is a New York Mets club that is out to prove to the critics and their fan-base they’re ready to be successful again.
Watching this develop from a fan’s point of view, what I witnessed was a team preparing to be a dangerous threat within their division. Why am I making a bold statement? Well if you happen to watch just how good the Mets played recently you’d understand. Then there are two things which stuck out: resiliency to come back in the first game where they rallied to win in Game 1. To say I’m impressed would be an understatement. And then by having a notably dominating performance to win yet again over Philadelphia in Game 2.
Dominic Smith started off things offensively with a 2-run HR. Pete Alonzo then added a game tying single in the 8th to tie it at 3. Jonathan Villar came through in the bottom of the 8th inning for New York by hitting a game-winning walk-off single that would send teammate Jeff McNeil safely into home and guarantee a Mets victory 4-3 over Philly. Taijuan Walker had a strong start pitching for the Mets in Game 1 striking out 8 batters.
Marcus Stroman started out the 2nd game strong, striking out Bryce Harper, and Lindor hit a double in the 1st for his first extra base hit while being a Met. Villar had an RBI double in the 4th. McNeil would score by making it 1-0 in favor of the Mets. Nimmo stepped up in a big way as he hit an RBI base hit to drive both Pillar and Villar into home extending the lead to a Mets 3-0 advantage. Tomas Nido tripled and did someone say finding Nimmo? Brandon hit an amazing third RBI that helped advance Nido home to score another run and make it 4-0 Mets over the Phillies.
My takeaways from the day are Villar has to stay in the lineup. Pillar is an absolute beast in Centerfield and Right Field. New York has a solid defense with Conforto, Nimmo, Pillar, and Smith rotating in the outfield. A great infield featuring Alonso, Lindor, McNeil, and the James McCann/Tomas Nido catcher combo depending on who’s pitching. Don’t forget about other players who can contribute that include J.D. Davis among others and New York can still explore their options and get more creative as the season goes along. These games taught us when hitters are motivated on offense a struggling team can be unstoppable. The undisputable ace is Jacob Degrom, but what’s promising are other starting pitchers like Walker along with Stroman and David Peterson – as those guys who take charge on the mound. The bullpen is also loaded with trusted relief pitchers such as Robert Gsellman, Trevor May, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia.
The Mets have a record of 4-3 currently, and as a Mets fan I’m one of those loyal supporters hoping New York can be an improved contender battling for being first in the National League East division once again. After the way they played Philadelphia, I saw a much better team out there playing at home at Citi Field on Tuesday. Talk about an incredible feeling seeing a Mets team make a sweep in a doubleheader of Philadelphia. All I’m going to say is, “Let’s go Mets!”