Finally, baseball games have returned. Do they count? No. Does that matter? Not in the slightest. The New York Mets split up and played two games this afternoon, one against the Cardinals and the other against the Marlins. While Marcus Stroman went to work against the Cardinals, Rick Porcello went on to face the Marlins in his debut as a Met.
The 31 year old right hander from Morristown, New Jersey and former Cy Young started the game for the Mets against the Marlins and had this to say about his first appearance in the National League.
“Today was a good first step in the right direction and there is some differences from the American League game to the National League game,” Porcello told reporters after a 5-3 loss.
Porcello pitched an inning and gave up two hits and an earned run while striking out one. When asked if he’s seen a difference in between leagues, the right hander said this, “I saw it today, the running game, they don’t really steal bases that much in the American League and you get out there and first pitch with a runner on first and he’s gone. I will start paying attention to that more and be prepared for a little bit of change in the style of play, but the main focus is building that foundation with that delivery and go from there.”
“Today, that is the closest you are going to get to that feeling, when you get out there the first time in the regular season,” Porcello said. “Everyone is excited for the first game of spring. I’m excited to be out there on the mound again after a long offseason, so you work on things on the side, but you don’t have that same adrenaline going and your body tends to speed up, your mind tends to speed up, so the setting today, and it’s part of the reason I want to pitch in as many games as possible this spring and not in backfields.”
Catcher Wilson Ramos, who had two RBI’s in the contest had this to say about catching Porcello, “I know it’s just one inning, but he threw the ball really well, kept the ball down, it felt good giving a low target,” Ramos said. “That’s what I’ve been working all spring, this offseason, so I feel good with that target so I have to keep doing it and try to keep those guys happy.”
Brand new New York Mets manager Luis Rojas also made his debut and after the game, he addressed the media on Porcello performance. “It was a good inning for him, throwing the ball where he wanted,” Rojas said. “I thought he hit his spots and it looked smooth.”
“I like Ramos with the knee down being able to get Porcello’s fastball,” Rojas said. “Porcello’s fastball action, the two-seamer, Ramos was really good receiving it down in the zone. There were a couple of strikes early that hit the spots and Ramos was receiving it cleanly.”
Steven Matz and the Mets will host Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals tomorrow in Port St. Lucie at 1:10 P.M. EST as the “Amazin’s” try to get their first victory of the spring.