All the pieces were in place as Luis Rojas had drawn them up. The Mets had the best pitcher on the planet on the mound, cruising, at an extremely low pitch count. They had two runs on the board and few worries in the world.
Then Rojas removed Jacob deGrom and the good vibes evaporated.
After the Mets took deGrom out of their game on Monday, relievers Trevor May and Aaron Loup served up five runs in the eighth to turn what might have been a breezy Opening Day victory into a dispiriting 5-3 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
deGrom had retired nine in a row and was on a pitch count of around 100, but Rojas decided instead to go to the bullpen after six innings. He received a scoreless seventh from Miguel Castro, but a nightmare of an eighth. May loaded the bases on two hits and a walk, then Loup entered and plunked Bryce Harper to force in a run. J.T. Realmuto followed with a game-tying single, before two more runs scored on a Luis Guillorme throwing error.
The result was a no-decision for deGrom and a loss for the Mets, who were originally scheduled to open their season last Thursday in Washington before four positive COVID-19 tests on the Nationals forced the postponement of that series.
The Mets scored two of their three runs in the second inning. James McCann lined an RBI single to right to bring home Pete Alonso. Later in the inning, Jacob deGrom drove in a run with a bloop single to left. Michael Conforto had an RBI single in the ninth inning.
Marcus Stroman gets the ball for the Mets on Tuesday as they look to even this three-game series with the Phillies.
Kyle leads sports coverage and hosts the Concrete Jungle podcast. Have a lead or question? Send it to [email protected].