After a 99 day lockout, baseball was back with a full season starting April 7th. Since the Mets started the season with a 7 game road trip and spring was off to a cold start in Montauk, I took a trip to Philadelphia to watch them play their 6th and 7th games. It was 72 degrees with a light breeze for the first pitch at 6:49pm Tuesday, April 12th. Tylor Megill pitched a gem for 5.1 innings, striking out 5 Phillies while allowing no runs on 76 pitches…49 of them strikes. Brandon Nimmo ended the 0-0 tie with a home run to right field with 2 outs in the top of the 5th. It was all the runs the Mets would need because Chasen Shreve, Drew Smith and Edwin Diaz combined for 7 strikeouts in 3.2 innings of relief. Diaz struck out the side for the save and Francisco Lindor knocked in Starling Marte with a single in the top of the 8th to make it a 2-0 Mets win.
The next day, Wednesday April 13th, Max Scherzer took the mound at Citizens Bank Park for a 1:07pm first pitch with sunny skies and 79 degrees. Scherzer pitched 5 innings giving up 1 run with 7 strikeouts. He threw 96 pitches with 66 of them strikes. He had a 4-1 lead after a Brandon Nimmo home run in the 3rd inning and a pair of doubles by Pete Alonso in the top of the 4th and top of the 5th inning. In the top of the 6th Alonso broke the game open with a 2 run homer. With the Mets leading 8-1, I took a walk to the Live! Casino & Hotel. In the parking lot during the walk I heard a loud cheer. It was the Phillies scoring 2 in the bottom of the 6th. They would score 2 more runs in the bottom of the 7th inning while I was learning the different “Rocky” slot machines. Only appropriate to play the “Rocky” slots in Philly. I finished my visit to Live! Casino watching the Mets close out a 9-5 win from the comfort of a lounge chair in Fanduel’s Sportsbook. It was downright hot during my short visit with temperatures well into the 80’s. As I submit this Journal the Mets are coming off a doubleheader sweep of the San Francisco Giants. Last time that happened was 1979. With 9 wins and only 3 losses, the Mets have the second best record in baseball before games are played on 4/20. It’s early in the season but as Alexander Pope wrote in 1734, “hope springs eternal.”