Mauricio Impresses in Mets’ 2-1 Win Over Mariners

Mauricio Impresses in Mets’ 2-1 Win Over Mariners

With the calendar flipping to September, the Mets began a three-game series with the Mariners on Friday night. The first game of the series marked the official beginning of the youth movement in Queens as Brett Baty was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse along with Ronny Mauricio, who made his big league debut batting ninth and playing second base. The Mets’ bats were quiet early but the team pulled ahead late to secure a 2-1 win.

Mauricio made an emphatic statement in his first plate appearance as a major leaguer. Leading off the bottom of the third inning, he smoked a ball into right field at 117.3 miles-per-hour which resulted in a standup double. He wound up advancing to third base but was unable to score as Logan Gilbert set down the Mets’ 1-2-3 hitters in order. Mauricio recorded another hit later in the game, a ground ball up the middle, giving him two hits in what was an impressive debut.

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The Mets’ starter for the game was Kodai Senga, who had the tough task of pitching against a Mariners team that just set a franchise record for most wins in a month (21 wins in August). However, Senga made the hottest team in baseball look anything but. Outside of allowing a J.P. Crawford solo home run in the fourth inning, Senga looked very comfortable, even in high-pressure situations. With two on and nobody out in the sixth inning, he managed to strike out the next three batters to get out of the inning.

Senga stayed on for the seventh inning but the Mariners threatened to put themselves ahead after Teoscar Hernández led off the inning with a double. Senga worked around it though, striking out two more Mariners batters to keep the game tied. That finished his outing, and it was a brilliant one. Over seven innings and 104 pitches, Senga allowed just five hits, two walks, one run, and struck out 12. He lowered his season ERA from 3.17 to 3.08, putting him right behind Blake Snell and Justin Steele for the third-best ERA in the National League.

For the bulk of the game, it appeared as though another phenomenal start by Senga would be wasted with his opposite number, Gilbert, pitching a shutout through five innings. Brandon Nimmo finally put the Mets on the board, though, as he led off the sixth inning with a solo homer, his 20th of the season, to put the Mets even with the Mariners at one apiece.

Both starters exited the game with the game still tied, pinning the rest of the game on the bullpens. Phil Bickford did his job by throwing a scoreless eighth inning, giving the Mets a chance to take a late lead with flamethrower Andrés Muñoz on the mound for Seattle in the bottom of the inning. That’s exactly what happened, with smart baserunning by Francisco Lindor paving the way.

Lindor led off the inning with a single before stealing a base, his 25th of the year which ties a career-high. Lindor then advanced to third base on a wild pitch by Muñoz, allowing him to be driven in on an opposite-field RBI single by Daniel Vogelbach. That gave the Mets the lead for the first time all night, giving the team the chance to close it out in the ninth inning.

The Mets sent out Drew Smith, who entered the game with three home runs given up in 11 innings in the month of August, to try to record the save. Smith walked Cal Raleigh to lead off the inning but made up for it with an impressive pickoff move to record the first out. After recording the second out of the inning easily, Smith gave up a single but subsequently struck out Ty France to record his third save of the season and give the Mets a tough 2-1 win. With the win, the Mets improved to 62-73 on the year.

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Player of the Game

In his first game in the big leagues, Ronny Mauricio is the player of the game. Not only did he look comfortable at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a scorching double, he also looked comfortable in the field, finding himself in the middle of several crucial plays. The hope is that he can keep up this performance down the stretch, as the Mets will get to see what they have in their highly-touted prospect.

Stat of the Game

According to Sarah Langs, Ronny Mauricio’s 117.3 miles-per-hour double in the third inning was the hardest-hit first career hit by any player in the Statcast era (since 2015). Not only that, it was also the hardest-hit ball in play by any Met during the entire 2023 season. With one swing of the bat, Mauricio demonstrated the power he possesses that Mets fans will be hoping to see more of during the final month of the season.

On Deck

The series between the Mets and Mariners continues at 7:10 p.m. ET Saturday evening. David Peterson (3-7, 5.23 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets, looking to continue his stretch of strong performances. Luis Castillo (11-7, 3.01 ERA), one of the frontrunners for the American League Cy Young Award, will be on the mound for the Mariners. The game will be broadcast on SNY.

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