The Amazins in Astoria: March 25-28

Image: MLB

Welcome back to the Amazins in Astoria. This is the third installment in an ongoing series, in which I document my 2022 in relation to the New York Mets. To read some of the other entries in this series, check out the links below.

For the first entry in the series, click here.

For the previous entry in the series, click here.

March 25th and 26th-Spring Training @Astros and vs Nationals

Once again, my social life is getting in the way of watching the Mets this weekend. Selfish, I know, but I need to keep up appearances so I have people to go to Citi Field with this summer. I had about an hour to kill before I left on Friday, but couldn't watch or listen to the game on a local broadcast. Waiting for the box score to come out later that night makes me feel like a fan from the 1910s waiting for a ticker tape update. A 2-1 loss to the 'Stros, Megill gets the L with 2 unearned runs, but I'm impressed with the relief effort on the mound. Glad to see Ottavino has kept the bases clean in his short time on the mound, and Alex Claudio has made himself a clear frontrunner for any invitees making the final roster. Offensively, 7 hits is nice to see, but made immediately irrelevant by the 11 guys left on base.

On Saturday, I was seeing a movie at the same time as first pitch against the Nats. Everything Everything All at Once, directed by the Daniels, sees Michelle Yeoh trying to save the multiverse (I really can't explain more without spoiling. Please go watch it). Leaving the theater, I feel some closure knowing that there's a universe out there where Chase Utley didn't fracture Ruben Tejada's fibula in 2015. Checking the score afterwards, the Mets won 4-2, leaving a better, yet still frustrating nine runners on base.

March 27th-Spring Training vs Cardinals

With no Sunday plans, and a bagel with sliced lox and cream cheese at the ready, I am locked in to watch today's game. Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom are slated to take the mound on the same day, something that SNY and the MLB app are hyping up like the first pairing of the Mega Powers, so I definitely can't miss it. I'm reminded once again of this once-in-a-lifetime moment when the broadcast starts, as Gary, Ron, and...Todd Zeile preview the game. Based on what Buck said pregame, DeGrom will get the first three innings, and Scherzer will likely go for as long as he wants.

As DeGrom takes the mound, the guys mention that he's looking to tone it down a little bit on his pitches this year. With two 97 MPH fastballs to Daniel Carlson to start the day, I get the idea that DeGrom won't stay true to his word. After striking out Carlson in four pitches, Jake looks to switch it up with his pitches, interspersing his four seam with a curveball and a couple sliders to strike out Lars Nootbaar. After allowing a single from Harrison Bader, DeGrom gets himself out of trouble by striking out Paul DeJong looking with a changeup.

Over the next two innings, DeGrom pretty much relies on that four seam, striking out 5, allowing 4 hits, and earning just 1 run. At one point, the camera pans over to a football field next door, where Scherzer is getting in some warmup pitches. Why the Mets have a branded football field next to their stadium, or why Scherzer is warming up there, I have no idea. Again, I don't love the fielding effort today, as Lindor lets a grounder slip past him to allow the first Cards run of the day, but I'll just have to chalk it up to offseason rust for the next week or so. A few upsides on the day; Starling Marte made his first 2022 Grapefruit League start in right field, and looked very comfortable snagging fly balls, while Travis Jankowski continued to flash his athleticism in center.

In between innings, I slowly began to lose my mind listening to the SNY jingle over and over again. I understand that commercials in these streaming apps can be a bit complicated, but these apps really need to find something less monotonous to fill that dead time.

Offensively, it looked like the rest of the Mets didn't want to be overshadowed by their teammates on the mound, and pounded the Cards almost right from the jump. It started off slow, as Pete Alonso inched from second to home on two sacrifice(ish) plays for the opening run. Then, after Jankowski reaches on a walk, Nido rockets one into right field to make it a 3-0 ball game. In the next inning, Lindor sends another bomb into right to let DeGrom leave the mound in a 4-1 ball game. A two-run bomb from Lindor in the 7th would put the Mets final run tally at 7.

At the end of the third, Scherzer practically sprints out of the dugout to start warming up. Once SNY gets back from commercial, he's more than ready to go. With a bit more expansive of an arsenal compared to DeGrom, Scherzer rushes three Cardinals with his changeup, finishing the fourth in just eight pitches. Similar innings in the 4th (5 pitches), 5th (11 pitches) and 8th (10 pitches) are what I assume led him to completing the game, but I'm sure his general tenacity also contributed as well. Maybe he was left in too long, giving up a homer in the ninth, but 2 ER and 7 K in 6 innings pitched is a pretty solid day if I've ever seen one.

With a 7-3 win, and pretty much everything I wanted to go right going right, the only thing better than the Mets clicking this weekend is the fact that these weird mesh hats will be gone by Opening Day.

March 28th-No Game Today

With no game, I catch up on my notes, as well as the mountain of laundry I've been putting off.

Pro tip: If you have a pack of gum in your pocket, take it out before you wash your pants.