Mets takeaways from win over Marlins, including controversial Michael Conforto walk-off

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Scott Thompson
·3 min read
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Michael Conforto hit by pitch in Mets home opener
Michael Conforto hit by pitch in Mets home opener

In a very awkward finish, a Michael Conforto hit by pitch walks it off, 3-2, in the Mets’ home opener against the Miami Marlins on Thursday afternoon.

Takeaways from the game

1) With bases loaded, one out and a chance to end the game, Conforto had his second hit by pitch in the game, but in this one, he appeared to lean in on a curveball from closer Anthony Bass with a 1-2 count. The pitch looked to be a strike, but since it hit Conforto, the run came in from third to end the game. Marlins manager Don Mattingly wasn’t happy, and he had a case with the replay showing Conforto making no effort to move as per the rules.

2) Jeff McNeil, who was still searching for his first hit of the season, had the biggest one of the day: A game-tying solo homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth and spark the rally for the Mets. Oh, and it was also McNeil’s 29th birthday.

3) Taijuan Walker made his Mets debut in the home opener, and was holding a no-hitter through 4.1 innings before Brian Anderson hit a 3-2 bloop single to right field to break it up. Prior to that, Walker’s fastball was living in the 94-96 mph range, which is a big change from his stuff last season that was more around 92-93. His offspeed stuff looked solid, too. But in the sixth inning, Walker gave up a single to Jon Berti and then Corey Dickerson roped a double to right center field to tie the game at one apiece. Later in the inning, Jesus Aguilar smashed a single through the short-third hole to give the Marlins the lead. Walker finished with a line of two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks over six innings of work.

4) The first run for the Mets at Citi Field this year came from Dom Smith, who hit a shot to deep center field with the bases loaded. It would’ve been more than a sacrifice fly if Starling Marte, a Gold Glover, hadn't made a ridiculous catch over his shoulder, banging into the wall.

5) Brandon Nimmo had a solid day at the dish, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, including the one that moved the winning run to third base in the ninth. He also made a scary catch in right center early on where he lost the ball in the sun, back pedaled, and collided with the wall while holding on for the out. But Nimmo stayed in the game.

5) Francisco Lindor collected his first hit at Citi Field as a Met, a single in the first-second base hole. He also had a chance to walk it off with runners on second and third, but the Marlins wanted to face Conforto instead, so they intentionally walked him.

6) Miguel Castro, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz all had clean outings from the bullpen after Walker left the game. Between the three of them, only May let up a hit (but Diaz had a walk).

Highlights

What's Next

The Mets get the day off on Friday before Jacob deGrom makes his second start of the season on Saturday against the Marlins at 1:10 p.m. on SNY.