Buck Showalter said he looks at a home opener as an opportunity to put on a good show and make fans feel like they want to return to the ballpark.
On Friday afternoon, the New York Mets oroduced the type of show that had Showalter’s players hoping they could stage an encore immediately.
The Mets will look to lock up a series win Saturday afternoon, when they are scheduled to host the Arizona Diamondback in the middle game of a three-game set.
Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 1.59 ERA) is slated to take the mound for the Mets against fellow right-hander Zac Gallen (4-10, 4.30 ERA in 2021), who will be making his season debut for the Diamondbacks.
The Mets cruised to a 10-3 win in their home opener Friday, when Chris Bassitt earned the win with six strong innings and Francisco Lindor hit two of New York’s four home runs.
“I don’t know if pressure’s the word (but) you want fans to have a good time at the park,” Showalter said Friday afternoon. “You want them to find a good place to park. You want the food to be good. You want the weather to be good. You want them to go, ‘You know what, I want to do that again.'”
The Mets checked all those boxes on a sunny, 63-degree day. The top six batters in the order went a combined 9-for-23 with all four homers — Robinson Cano and Starling Marte went deep once apiece — and 10 RBIs for New York, which had at least one hit in every inning.
“I think we had a lot of good at-bats — a lot of guys hit really well,” said Bassitt, who carried a one-hit shutout into the sixth before giving up his first run of the season via a leadoff homer by Daulton Varsho. “It was a good read of what this team can be for a lot of games this year.”
The loss deepened the early-season offensive struggles for the Diamondbacks, who have scored just 18 runs while losing five of their first seven games. Only the Baltimore Orioles had fewer runs entering Friday night’s games.
The Diamondbacks had runners on first and second with one out in the first but had just four baserunners between the second and eighth inning before scoring twice in the ninth via two walks, Seth Beer’s RBI double and a run-scoring groundout by Sergio Alcantara.
“It’s been pretty terrible,” Diamondbacks outfielder Pavin Smith told reporters Friday afternoon. “I’m not gonna lie. Pretty much can’t get any momentum going. We get guys on base and it seems like everybody wants to try to get the big hit and that makes it worse. So we just got to keep grinding, keep chugging away, each individual, to try to get better and try not to press as much.”
Carrasco didn’t factor into the decision in his first start of the season last Sunday, when he gave up one run over 5 2/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Washington Nationals, 4-2. He is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in two career games (one start) against the Diamondbacks.
Gallen is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts against the Mets.
–Field Level Media