Using the TARDIS, I was able to journey into the near future and take notes on the first month of the New York Mets season. But be forewarned! Any attempts to profit with the information (i.e. bet on it like Biff Tannen in Back to the Future II) will likely alter the results (like in Hot Tub Time Machine).
April 3 – at Kansas City
The baseball world begins tonight with the two teams that ended last season. The defending World Champions host the reigning National League champions on Sunday Night Baseball. The Mets, truly embracing the 30-year anniversary of the 1986 team, take the field wearing wigs, masks and set Hotfoots on the unsuspecting opposition.
This infuriates the Royals, but they can’t take revenge against Jacob deGrom, who cruises to a 2-1 win.
April 5 – at Kansas City
The media pepper Noah Syndergaard about his comments last year and he doesn’t back down. Taking the mound, his first pitch to KC SS Alcides Escobar is just a bit outside. However unlike Ricky Vaughn, Thor’s next pitch starts outside, but edges the outside corner. Then he brushes back the leadoff hitter with a 101 MPH fastball, but follows with a curve for his first strikeout.
The Norse god collects 12 strikeouts through seven innings, but gives way to Hansel Robles. Alex Gordon greets him with a fly ball and immediately Yoenis Cespedes races back in center. He keeps going and channeling his inner-Bo Jackson, runs three steps up the wall and comes back down…nowhere near the ball, that dropped into shallow center for a triple. KC wins 4-2.
April 8-10 – vs. Philadelphia
Cespedes won a bet with manager Terry Collins when the team finished spring training in Las Vegas and spends April 6th and 7th in Augusta, GA at the Masters. He’s back in time for the home opener as Matt Harvey takes the mound to a sea of fans wearing masks from the Dark Knight films. They’re not disappointed as Harvey K’s 13 in a 5-1 win.
David Wright, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker and Steven Matz all hit home runs in a 10-4 win on Saturday. While walking out to the mound, Bartolo Colon trips and accidentally loses his bubble gum. He’s knocked out by the third and the Mets lose 8-5.
April 11-13 – vs. Miami
DeGrom is dominant again, but leaves a pitch up for Giancarlo Stanton. Cespedes runs up the wall again, but the ball is well into the stands. Jose Fernandez makes it stand up as the Marlins win 3-2. At 3-3 on the season, the back page of the New York Post calls for Collins to be fired. The Mets win the next two game behind Wilmer Flores’ three doubles and 5 RBIs.
April 15-17 – at Cleveland
A huge Drew Carey Show fan, Travis d’Arnaud searches for landmarks like Winfred-Louder department store and how Carey ever dated and married Kate Walsh. Kevin Plawecki fills in, going 3-for-5 and picking off two runners as the Mets open the road trip with a 6-3 win.
Colon visits one of his favorite dining spots in the Sixth City and Sean Gilmartin, scheduled to make the Sunday start, gets sick. He’s replaced by Logan Verrett, who helps complete the sweep as Addison Reed, Antonio Bastardo and Jeurys Familia combine for a 7-0 shutout.
April 18-20 – at Philadelphia
Flores, who’s already started at 2B and 3B, makes his first professional start at 1B and proceeds to go 4-for-4. The following day, he starts at SS with Thor on the mound and makes a Web Gem with an over-the-shoulder catch down the left-field line. With the Mets looking for a sweep and an 8-game winning streak, Harvey goes into the 8th with a no-hitter. After walking the first batter, Collins calls on Jerry Blevins to face Ryan Howard. He gets the slugger to ground into a double play, but the no-no is spoiled when Familia attempts a quick-pitch and gives up a single in the 9th of a Mets 5-0 win.
April 22-24 – at Atlanta
The Daily News back page headline on Thursday reads “Philly Cheesy-Metstake” about Collins decision to remove Harvey and says Sandy Alderson needs to fire him to reach the postseason despite the team’s 11-3 record. They quote an unnamed source close to the team saying, “We’d be 13-1 if not for (Collins).” A day later, the News publishes a small note near the classified section that admits the ‘unnamed source’ was a groundkeeper ‘close to the team’ locker room.
Curtis Granderson decides to visit all the clubs listed in Jermaine Dupri’s ‘Welcome to Atlanta’ and is a late-scratch. Collins moves Cespedes to RF and he throws out two runners, including one at first base. But Matz is knocked around and the Mets lose the opener. Colon and Gilmartin pitch well the next two days, Flores goes into RF on a double-switch and hits a game-winning single as the team improves to 13-4.
April 25-27 – vs. Cincinnati
A scheduled off-day for Wright, Flores is written into the lineup but the umpire reads an ‘8’ on the card and sends him to CF. Forced to start the game there, he makes a diving catch in right-center before switching places with Juan Lagares, who was at 3B. After the game, Collins admits Granderson was showing him pictures from ‘Magic City’ in Atlanta (NSFW) when he was making the lineup and was distracted.
Newsday’s back page shows Collins dressed as Dopey. The Daily News goes with Inspector Gadget due to the varied lineups and labels Alderson as ‘Brain’, the intelligent dog that helps with everything. All three papers call for ownership to step in and fire him. Meanwhile, the Mets sweep the Reds thanks in part to Asdrubal Cabrera’s 10-game hit streak and Lucas Duda’s HR splurge of 5 in three games.
April 29-May 1 – vs. San Francisco
Since deGrom, Thor and Harvey pitched against the Reds, the Post blasts Collins for not lining up his rotation for the team’s first true test of the season. Matz goes out on Free Shirt Friday and scattered 6 hits over 6 innings, going 3-for-3 at the plate. He’s removed to start the seventh, part of a double switch that sends Flores to LF. Hunter Pence hits a bases-clearing double over his head and fans in the corner throw their shirts on the field. Flores uses one to wipe his tears, then sends everyone home happy with a walk-off home run two innings later.
The streak ends at 12 wins when Colon is roughed up early. To avoid overusing the bullpen, Flores pitches the final two innings of an 11-6 loss and the Mets close the month with a 17-5 record, just a game ahead of the Washington Nationals (17-7) in the NL East.