Opening Day is all about optimism. Every team has the same record. Every team has a mathematical chance to make the playoffs. Teams are coming out of spring training, still boasting about how individual players are in the best shape of their lives. Anything is possible.
And this year, it seemed like today was impossible. In some ways, today feels irresponsible. Optimism has been replaced with trepidation.
But we made it. For better or worse baseball is happening tonight. 60 players and dozens of coaches between two teams tonight will risk their health at Citi Field so we can escape from reality for a few hours.
And we are so lucky. We’ll get to escape the pandemic tonight with another Opening Day start by Jacob deGrom, fresh off back to back Cy Young awards. Last year deGrom posted a 2.43 ERA, 0.971 WHIP, 2.67 FIP and 167 ERA+ over 32 starts and 204.0 innings. He struck out a league leading 255 batters in 2019. He faced the Braves 4 times, pitching 26.1 innings allowing 9 runs (3.08 ERA) from 20 hits and 7 walks while striking out 39 batters. The only team that he struck out more batters from last year was the Marlins (46) but he also made 6 starts against the Marlins. The Braves have the following numbers against deGrom:
- Austin Riley 2-5, HR
- Freddie Freeman 15-64, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 BB, 14 K
- Tyler Flowers 4-16, HR, 3 BB, 7 K
- Johan Camargo 7-24, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 8 K
- Dansby Swanson 4-16, 2 2B, 3 BB, 8 K
- Matt Adams 5-18, 3B, 9 K
- Marcell Ozuna 9-36, 2 2B, HR, BB, 12 K
- Ronald Acuna Jr.5-20, 2B, 2 BB, 5 K
- Ozzie Albies 5-32, 2B, BB, 7 K
- Charlie Culberson 0-8, 5 K
The Mets bats will get their first look at Mike Soroka today. Soroka is coming off his first full season of baseball where he pitched in 29 games and 174.2 innings with a 2.68 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 1.111 WHIP and 169 ERA+. The 2019 All-Star led the league in homers per 9 innings at 0.7 (for comparison deGrom was at 0.8 and in 2018 deGrom was at 0.4). Soroka finished 6th in Cy Young voting and second in rookie of the year (behind you know who!). He faced the Mets three times last year, pitching 17.1 innings allowing 8 runs (4.15 ERA) from 20 hits and 3 walks while striking out 13. The Mets have the following numbers against Soroka:
- Yoenis Cespedes 3-3, HR
- J.D. Davis 1-2, HR
- Tomas Nido 3-6, 2B, BB, 2 K
- Pete Alonso 4-9, HR, 3 K
- Robinson Cano 2-8, HR
- Amed Rosario 3-11, 2B, 2 K
- Michael Conforto 3-14, BB, K
- Brandon Nimmo 1-5, K
- Dominic Smith 1-5, 2 K
- Jeff McNeil 0-6, K
- Wilson Ramos 0-3
Let’s Go Mets!