Yesterday, the Mets split up to face both the Atlanta Braves and the Detroit Tigers. While many praised the Mets for improving the Mets’ offense, not much had been done to improve the defensive side of the ball, besides defensive depth pieces. It burned them in today’s games. Not only did the pitchers fail, but the defense behind them did too.
In the Mets first game, the Mets faced off against the Atlanta Braves in Disney, where they would eventually lose 4-3. In this game, Corey Oswalt provided 2 scoreless frames, and Chris Flexen and Stephen Villines combined to throw two more. Hector Santiago through two strong innings, with his only blemish coming in the form of a solo home run. Drew Gagnon added two more innings, but was charged with the blown save and the loss after giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Mets only had one error in this game, but the bullpen wasn’t up to the task and the offense was stagnant. They were able to string together 8 hits and 4 walks, but only had 3 runs to show for it.
Shortly after the first game began, they faced off against the Tigers, behind Zack Wheeler. He was effective at throwing strikes, but these were put in play more times than not. On the first play of the game, JD Davis committed an error at first, and the runner was safe. After a wild pitch, single, and sacrifice fly, it was already 2-0 Atlanta after the first inning. Familia coughed up an additional 2 unearned runs in the second, and it only got worse from there. The Mets would go on to lose 14-4. Only 9 of those runs were earned, and Seth Lugo was the only pitcher who did not give up a run.
It’s spring training, and these games do not matter, but it is important to notice important storylines. The Mets have had defensive woes for multiple seasons running, and from the look of it, these weren’t addressed. The great pitchers of this staff and bullpen deserve a competent defense behind them, and they weren’t given that today. Hopefully better things are to come!