Nationals 9, Mets 7: Three Up, Three Down
You asked for it, you got it: the return of Three Up, Three Down. Each day, we here at Mets Cetera will pick three Mets players who thrived and three who, well, not so much.
This is not necessarily a statistically-driven exercise. The player who goes 4-for-4 with three home runs (or the one who mashes a two-run homer in a four-run game with two outs in the ninth — looking at you, David Wright) will usually receive an “Up,” to be sure. But we’ll also look to reward unsung heroes. So without further ado…
1. Jose Valverde: A huge strikeout of Ryan Zimmerman with the game on the line in the seventh, followed by a perfect inning with two more whiffs in the eighth. In all, a sterling Mets debut.
2. Juan Lagares: Given an Opening Day start in center field, Lagares homered, reached base three times and flat-out out-played Eric Young, Jr., his main competition in Spring Training.
3. Andrew Brown: Brown’s three-run homer off Stephen Strasburg was a huge early lift for the Mets, whose failure to capitalize later in the game was hardly the reserve outfielder’s fault.
1. Eric Young, Jr.: Finishing 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the leadoff spot (albeit with a sacrifice fly) is not going to cut it. Young must improve if he wants ample playing time this season.
2. Scott Rice: Carlos Torres was just as guilty as Rice, walking the only batter he faced in the game. But Rice’s walk came with the bases loaded and the Mets up by a run, earning him the thumbs down today.
3. Bobby Parnell: Called upon to protect a one-run lead, Parnell gave up two hits, a walk and a run. The velocity was there, but the results were not.
Andrew Brown +1
Juan Lagares +1
Jose Valverde +1
Bobby Parnell -1
Scott Rice -1
Eric Young, Jr. -1
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo