BOSTON, July 28 – The New York Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox 8-3 Tuesday night at Fenway Park, sweeping the two games in Boston. Rookie pitcher David Peterson pitched into the sixth inning in his major league debut and the Mets offense pounded Red Sox pitching with 10 hits en route to the win.
David Peterson wasn’t told he was starting on Tuesday until that morning, and perhaps that was for the better. Making your Major League debut is nerve-racking enough, but when it’s in iconic Fenway Park, and against a good Red Sox lineup that’s more than enough to think about. With Noah Syndergaard out for the season and Marcus Stroman on the injured list, Peterson got his chance and he did not disappoint.
The 2017 20th overall pick pitched well in the minors with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.256 WHIP in 49 starts. Peterson showed good command of his pitches and great poise in the few tight spots in the game. His delivery is deceptive with how he hides the ball before firing it to the plate. He is known more as a groundball pitcher despite the 7-4 flyball to groundball ratio he had in his first start.
The left-handed pitcher has a big 6’6 frame but is not known as a strikeout pitcher although he averaged one per inning in the minors. After one start you can see why the Mets drafted him in the first round. Despite never playing at Triple-A, Peterson has earned the right to stay in the rotation until Stroman comes back.
Peterson said this after the game, “This is one of the greatest days of my life,” he said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid. Making my first start, getting the win, I couldn’t ask for much more than that, being in a historical place like Fenway. It all came together. I’ll never forget this.” Peterson’s final line was five and two-thirds innings pitched with seven hits, three strikeouts, two walks, and two runs.
Mets Take Early Lead Amid Red Sox Mistakes
The game did not start off good for Peterson. After a scoreless top of the first by the Mets, Jose Peraza led off the bottom of the first by hitting a ball off of the Green Monster. Peraza was easily thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double by J.D. Davis. Peraza had never played in Fenway Park prior to this season so it’s safe to say he needs to learn how to judge the way the baseball comes off hitting the wall. Peterson struck out J.D. Martinez and retired Rafael Devers on a groundout ending the inning.
Davis led off the second with a single and two batters later Yoenis Cespedes was hit by a pitch. Robinson Cano steps up to the plate with two on and one out. Cano doubles to the left-field corner scoring Davis. Next up was Wilson Ramos. Ramos hits a ground ball to Red Sox third basemen, Rafael Devers. Cespedes who is coming off injuries to both his legs did not take off for home. Clearly Cespedes is not fully healthy enough to run the bases as freely as he did in the past. After a walk to Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario dunked a hit into right field scoring two runs giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. Red Sox starting pitcher Matt Hall who threw only six pitches in the first inning needed 35 to get out of the second inning.
One Strange Play
The Red Sox first serious scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the third inning. Kevin Plawecki led off the inning with a double followed by a walk to Andrew Benintendi. Peraza was up next and he launches a fly ball towards right-center field. Brandon Nimmo raced to the ball as it hit the top part of his glove and fell to the ground. Michael Conforto, who was backing up the play, quickly fired the ball back into the infield. Plawecki was not half-way to third but was tagging up instead. Because he was not halfway and also with Conforto’s heads up play, Plawecki only advanced to third.
The bases were loaded with no one out. Peterson struck out Martinez bringing up Devers. Devers hit a low line drive to second base. Cano appeared to short-hop the ball and threw it to Rosario who was covering second, forcing out Peraza. Benintendi did not run to third. Rosario faked a throw to first, and Benintendi took off for third. From there the Mets would get Benintendi into a rundown and tagged him out completing a very strange double play. However, Plawecki would score the Red Sox first run of the game.
Had the Mets challenged the play it would have been ruled a lineout as replays clearly showed the ball never hit the ground. That also would have taken the Red Sox run off the board. Had Plawecki scored on the Peraza hit, Benintendi would have been on third base and perhaps Peraza himself would be on second. The Red Sox ran themselves out of the inning.
Mets Open Up the Lead
Red Sox starter Hall failed to get out of the third inning and was replaced by Austin Brice. After pitching a scoreless fourth inning, Brice got into trouble in the fifth. Jeff McNeil hit a one-out single. Next up was Davis who hit his first home run of the season hitting the ball off the Pesky Pole. Brice was removed from the game and the Red Sox brought in Colten Brewer. The Mets wasted a big chance to open the game up in the sixth inning. Cano reached on an error and Ramos singled to center, moving Cano to third. Nimmo grounds out hard to Michael Chavis who looks Cano back to third, but Ramos moved up to second. Brewer would get out of the inning unscathed.
Peterson started the sixth inning and gave up a one-out double fo Devers. Two batters later Kevin Pillar doubled Devers home. Peterson’s night was over and the Mets brought in Drew Smith to get out of the inning. In the eight inning, the Mets broke the game open. Ryan Brasier was the new Red Sox pitcher and Cano greeted him with a leadoff single. Ramos grounded out forcing Andres Gimenez, who pinch ran for Cano to second. Nimmo doubled to right field scoring Gimenez. Rosario ground out for the second out. After a walk to Pete Alonso, McNeil doubles to deep center field clearing the bases and giving the Mets an 8-2 lead.
The Red Sox would push a run across in the ninth inning but the Mets had this game well in hand. After scoring just 5 runs in three games against the Atlanta Braves, the Met bats exploded for 15 runs on 21 hits with four homers in the two-game set in Fenway Park.
Marcus Stroman has been pitching pain-free bullpen sessions. Stroman’s calf has not healed enough for him to be able to field the position and the Mets are not able to determine when he will be back with the team. After having three different leadoff batters in the first three games of the season, Amed Rosario has led off the last three games. Brandon Nimmo after leading off on opening day has batted ninth in the next four games.
All eight Mets position players have started every game aside from the regular day off for catcher Wilson Ramos. Yoenis Cespedes had started at DH in four of the five games. The Mets have not made it known if Cespedes is able to play the field. Mets manager Luis Rojas has taken full advantage of the 30-man roster. Both Jake Marisnick and Andres Gimenez have been late-inning defensive replacements for Robinson Cano and J.D. Davis.
The series now shifts to Citi Field. Starting for the Red Sox is Nathan Eovaldi (1-0 1.50 ERA) who got the win on opening day against Baltimore Orioles. On the mound for the Mets is Jacob deGrom (1-0 0.00 ERA) who also won on opening day against the Braves.
Embed from Getty Images