Flushing, New York- The New York Mets and San Francisco Giants are finishing up their four game series at Citi Field. San Francisco led by Brandon Crawford, are dangerous in all aspects: pitching, hitting, bullpen, you name it. The Giants are no joke. Last season, San Francisco won the National League West with an MLB-high, 107 wins. This series is an early indicator and test for the Mets in seeing how they rank up against an elite team such as the Giants managed by Gabe Kapler. This could be a matchup we see during the Postseason in October.
Pregame Insight with Wilmer Flores and the Giants
During pregame workouts, spectators were able to watch and take in a former New York Met preparing for Wednesday night’s game. The one and only Wilmer Flores. Mets fans embrace and show love towards Flores every chance they get, no matter the uniform. Some calls heard from the crowd were “We love you Wilmer ” and “Thank you Wilmer”. The famous scene in 2015 of Flores tearing up in front of the Citi Field crowd realizing he may have been traded during the time of the trade deadline was a night Mets fans will never forget. Each and every at-bat at Citi Field, Flores receives a warm welcome from fans with loud applause. He played a pivotal role in the Mets roster and clubhouse from 2013-2018. In 2019, Flores played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and since 2020, he’s played with the San Francisco Giants.
San Francisco presents a dynamic display of pregame fundamentals and skillwork. The Giants do a bunch of fielding practices that include ground balls delivered from a machine at various speeds+directions. After that, the infielders take the field and repeatedly receive ground balls from alternate spots on the field. Some players elect to do additional drills such as pepper; a game where you field ground balls up close on your knees to build muscle+mental repetition.
During Wednesday’s session of batting practice, you could not stop but notice the Giants were constantly slashing line drives. You would think, maybe five or six home run swings, but no, not for Thairo Estrada and the Giants. Consistently, players focused on keeping a contact level to the ball rather than attempting to swing for power. Contact swings lead to line drives and the ball being put in play. The probability of hits and errors only increases once the ball is in play.
From the looks of their past season record, the fielding drills and batting practice details definitely seem to benefit and play a role in the Giants philosophy. San Francisco is a top tier franchise across MLB. The Giants do an excellent job in coaching dynamics which translates efficiently to the players. This may be a factor in their sustaining long term success throughout the NL West and the rest of Major League Baseball.
TUESDAY: Mets win 3-1 in Second game of Doubleheader vs Giants
Max Scherzer’s Amazin Home-Debut as a New York Met
On a windy Tuesday evening, future Hall of Fame pitcher Max Scherzer showed his Cooperstown dominance in front of the Citi Field crowd. The 3-time Cy Young winner, Scherzer flirted with a no-hitter until the top of the 6th inning when designated hitter Darin Ruf singled to left field, scoring a run. Up against a versatile lineup in the San Francisco Giants, Scherzer’s performance with a total of seven innings pitched and 10 strikeouts was phenomenal.
Lindor Continues his Hot Streak
In his second year in Queens with the Mets, Francisco Lindor has finally shown what Mets fans have been waiting to embrace, and that’s their franchise player. Lindor, in his first twelve games this season, has reached base safely. In Tuesday’s doubleheader, he totaled four hits in nine at-bats with two runs batted in. Lindor is finally getting comfortable as a New York Met and it’s been on display within the box score.
WEDNESDAY: Giants win 5-2 with Rodón Pitching Gem + Brandon Belt HR
Carlos Rodón; 2021 Latino Sports AL Pitcher Award winner Ks up the Mets
SF Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodón had himself a night on the mound. In Wednesday’s matchup at Citi Field, Rodón allowed 3 hits and struck out eight in 5 innings pitched. Rodon showcases the bulldog mentality on the bump. He is coming at you with everything he’s got, not letting up, no matter the inning or pitch count. The timing and balance of batters gets jeopardized against Rodón due to the fact, he contains a slick delivery to the plate. His mechanics are similar to C.C. Sabathia and Nestor Cortes in my opinion. In three starts of this regular season, Rodón has 29 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched with only two earned runs allowed.
Chris Bassitt Struggles in First Inning
Mets starter Chris Bassitt got off to a rough start in Wednesday’s contest against San Francisco. Contributions from Joc Pederson, Brandon Crawford and Wilmer Flores sparked a 3-run first inning for the Giants. From the third inning on, Bassitt seemed to become more comfortable and in the groove. A prime example was with the heart of the Giants lineup coming up in the 5th inning (3. Darin Ruf, 4. Joc Pederson, and 5. Brandon Crawford). All three made decent contact on Bassitt in their first two at-bats. However; Bassitt made his case third-time around by displaying his firepower and striking out the side.
Brandon Belt celebrates his Birthday in Fashion
On Wednesday, Brandon Belt celebrated his 34th birthday with his teammates. In the second inning, Belt clobbered a solo home run to deep right field to take the Giants lead to 4-0. There’s no gift better than a home run on your birthday. Belt is one of the core pieces for San Francisco’s dynamic lineup and infield alignment at first base.
Marte and Cahna attempt Late Game Comeback
In the 7th inning, Starling Marte delivered a two-out single to score Luis Guillorme, making it a 5-1 ballgame. Marte has been an underlying factor in the Mets lineup. His versatility on the bases and on the field defensively is a huge boost for the Mets.
On Wednesday, Mark Cahna was activated from the Covid-19/Injured list. He missed a total of five games. In the 8th inning with one out against reliever Tyler Rogers, Cahna slashed a clutch single into center field to score Pete Alonso, minimizing the score to 5-2. The Mets had the beginning to be a 9th inning rally, with a James McCann walk, but fell short. On a Nimmo flyout, Marte fielder’s choice, then ultimately Lindor strikeout to end the game. Mets lost 5-2 to the Giants.
The series between the Giants and Mets concludes today at 1:10pm. Anthony DeSclafani will take the mound as San Francisco looks to split the four-game set. The Mets will start Carlos Carrasco, who has looked sensational in his first two starts this season.
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