The Tuesday Takeaway
Yoenis Cespedes’ first swing of the night was indicative of the type of game he was about to have in that it was extremely powerful. So powerful, in fact, that he fell down.
It didn’t take him long to harness that power into something more productive. Two pitches later, facing down an 0-2 count, he went yard …
… and then, three innings later, he did it again …
… and finally, in the fifth inning, once again.
That trio made Cespedes the first Met ever to have multiple three-home run games, joining an earlier showing of his from August 2015. And the power last night didn’t stop there. Cespedes’ set of dingers was joined by two from Lucas Duda, one from Asdrubal Cabrera, and another from Travis d’Arnaud in a 14-4 drubbing for the Mets. This, of course, meant only bad things for the Phillies' pitching staff. Starter Clay Buchholz was pulled in the third inning after giving up a total of six runs, only to be followed by four runs allowed from reliever Adam Morgan (who was demoted to the minors after the game).
But even with a glowing offensive performance like this one, not everything was sunshine for the Mets. In his first few innings of work, starter Matt Harvey built on the performance he gave last week to assuage lingering concerns about his health, but he was pulled in the sixth with what has since been revealed as hamstring tightness. Manager Terry Collins later said that Harvey should be fine to make his next start.
Cleveland and Chicago went to extra innings tied at one run apiece, but they left different opportunities on the table to get there. After a first-inning home run from Francisco Lindor got the Indians on the board, the offense drooped—unable to score again, though the White Sox's pitching staff gifted them with seven walks. Meanwhile, the Indians' staff didn’t issue a single walk to the White Sox throughout the game, bolstered by a strong start from Carlos Carrasco and supported by Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.
Michael Brantley finally ended things in the 10th, scoring Lindor from first with a walk-off double to give Cleveland the 2-1 win.
Kicking off games with home runs is becoming custom for George Springer. For the fourth time in nine games—a major-league record—Springer led off with a dinger. The Astros went on to beat the Mariners, 7-5.
The Marlins beat the Braves by a score of 8-4 in their home opener, but the most interesting athletic performance of the night didn’t come from one of the players. A lost cat found himself trapped in the outfield and eschewed Giancarlo Stanton’s attempt to help him, instead scaling the scoreboard wall to take shelter in the park’s home run sculpture.
He remained safely nestled in the sculpture, which was disabled to protect him for the remainder of the game. But a postgame rescue attempt that initially looked successful proved unsustainable, and the cat wandered off.
Update: Upon being rescued safely, #RallyCat’s elusiveness persisted, and it again ran away – this time into the night. Rally on, #RallyCat! pic.twitter.com/ZbkgDpdbjr
— Marlins Park (@MarlinsPark) April 12, 2017
The team’s top performer, Marcell Ozuna—who homered twice and drove in six runs—made it clear that he didn’t see the little guy as a good luck charm: “I detest cats. I don't like them. No allergies. I don't like them."
The Angels were losing to the Rangers by a score of 5-0 heading into the seventh inning. They were down 5-2 heading into the ninth. But three extra-base hits helped them tie things up and head to extras, and they won in the 10th on a walk-off squeeze bunt from Carlos Perez.
Defensive Play of the Day
Mike Trout helped save the game for the Angels by leaping to rob a home run in the top of the 10th.
Runner-up goes to A.J. Pollack for robbing Aaron Hill of a base hit with a jumping catch on the run. The Diamondbacks beat the Giants, 4-3.
What to Watch on Wednesday
After a stellar spring training, Jordan Montgomery will make his debut for the Yankees today. The 24-year-old pitcher has slipped into the starting rotation on the strength of his breaking ball. A bit of scouting on the lefty from our Wilson Karaman: “He’s a case study in advanced pitchability and plane, as he’ll leverage all of his 6-foot-6 frame to bully the ball to the lower quadrants and just keep attacking.” He faces Blake Snell and the Rays at 1:05 ET.
Zack Wheeler’s first start in a year and a half didn’t go particularly well, with a solid first few outs soon dissolving into giving up five runs in four innings. He’ll make his second start today, facing off against a pitcher who had a similarly dispiriting start to the year in Vince Velasquez. The Mets take on the Phillies at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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