The Mets spoiled Jameson Taillon’s major league debut–sort of–by winning a hard-fought victory over the Pirates. New York won 6-5, actually scored more than a run, and prevented the Bucs from sweeping the series behind a good-but-not-great pitching performance from Noah Syndergaard.
The Big Finish
It’s apparently a thing: every recap I’ve written for this site has been a game that’s gone into extra innings. Tied at five headed into the 10th, the Mets were able to string together a few hits in order to threaten in the top of the inning. After consecutive singles against Cory Luebke by Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker, James Loney moved the runners over and Asdrubal Cabrera was intentionally walked to face Ty Kelly. Instead of sticking with Kelly, who hit his first major-league homer earlier in the game, Terry Collins brought in Wilmer Flores to face Luebke, and the move paid off. Wilmer pushed a single, plating the one run the Mets needed to win the ballgame.
Sara Novic is a Wizard
As mentioned above, Ty Kelly hit his first big-league homer in the fourth, going yard off rookie starter Jameson Taillon.
Kelly was also the subject of a profile by Sara Novic here earlier in the day, so congrats to Sara, Ty, and Sara’s grandmother. Unfortunately, Sara will now be required to profile every single Mets player, every day, in the feeble hopes that it will cause a never-ending stream of home runs. (The things we do for this team.)
Not all was good for Kelly on the day–he probably lost his spot on the 25-man roster thanks to a trade the Mets made–but I don’t think he’ll take this one back.
Young Starting Pitchers Are Great
Jameson Taillon made his major-league debut on Wednesday, in an exciting matchup against Mets ace Noah Syndergaard. While this wasn’t the pitcher’s duel one might’ve expected, Taillon flashed some filthy stuff in his debut. His curveball was sharp at times, and he ramped his velocity up to 96.6 miles per hour on average for his fastball, eventually topping out at 98.6. While we might’ve expected a host of strikeouts and a look at Taillon’s signature command, his overall line was a bit pedestrian: six innings, two walks, three strikeouts, and three runs allowed. Certainly not bad, but given all the hype coming into the game, I’ll be hoping for more no-walk, five-plus-strikeout games in Taillon’s future.
Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard wasn’t dominant either, as John Jaso, Gregory Polanco, and Neil Walker (yes, that’s right) led the Pirates’ offense. The game started on an ominous note: Walker made an error allowing Jaso to reach as the first batter of the game. Andrew Mccutcheon walked, Polanco doubled, and Jung-ho Kang singled, putting the Mets behind by two before an out was even recorded. Fortunately, after that Syndergaard settled down, only allowing another run in the fourth on a John Jaso double before leaving the game in the seventh. His velocity was as scary as ever, and the final line was six innings, five strikeouts, two walks and seven hits, leading to three runs (two earned).
Michael Conforto Hit A Home Run
Michael Conforto hit a home run! We’re going to be okay, you guys!
Help is On The Way
Before today’s game, the Mets made a deal to re-acquire Kelly Johnson from the Braves, dealing Double-A reliever Akeel Morris to Atlanta. Since MLB rules stipulate that only one “Kelly” can be on a team at a time, I have to expect that Ty Kelly will be headed back to Las Vegas sooner rather than later, despite last night’s heroics.
(You can read more about the Johnson deal from Jarrett Seidler and myself over at Baseball Prospectus.)
The Future Is Unwritten
Today the Mets get a breather of sorts, beginning a four-game series against the lowly Milwaukee Brewers. Bartolo Colon takes on Jimmy Nelson, as the Mets look to make up a little ground in the East–they’re currently still 3.5 games back of the Nationals. Perhaps the bats of Michael Conforto and the rest of the team will continue off Wednesday’s awakening? Maybe Kelly Johnson will be the spark the team needs? (Hah.)
And it’s MLB Draft day today! The Mets have the 19th and 31st overall pick in today’s first-year-player draft, so get excited for the next wave of Mets to either disappoint or thrill us. (Probably both, tbh.)
Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports