On Tuesday, Trevor Williams only had to provide the Mets a few innings and leave with the team still in the game before he could be considered successful.
As a replacement for the injured Tylor Megill, the right-hander threw four shutout innings in the first inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader at Citi Field, which allowed the Mets to develop a lead that they would not relinquish.
The Mets’ weekend sweep of the Mariners was a welcome respite from the bitter taste of their season-opening series loss.
Six strikeouts in 65 pitches in his second start of the season were Williams’ best performance thus far this year. Throughout two innings, he gave up four runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
When asked whether he was delighted to help save the bullpen, Williams replied: “I know this is what my job is.
Williams relieved Megill last week after he was blown out in the first inning against the Nationals and went 3 2/3 innings without allowing a run.
This new role has been an enjoyable challenge for Williams. For his part, “I have a lot of people in my corner and I’ve reached out to other players in the league who have been in this position before, understanding what to do: not starting anymore and kind of like prepping and keeping ready to pitch every day.”
Since James McCann was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hamate bone in his wrist, backup catcher Patrick Mazeika has started two games in Williams’ place.
Pitching coach Buck Showalter noted that his pitchers are familiar with [Mazeika] and that the players who aren’t are feeding off what the others are saying to them.
In the third inning, Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith both hit a two-run double to put the Mets ahead 3-0. To begin the inning, Miles Mikolas was aided by a Francisco Lindor error by Brendan Donovan.
In the second inning, the Mets had Mikolas facing a bases-loaded situation when Travis Jankowski hit an RBI fielder’s choice.
When Jake Reed took over for Williams in the fifth, he walked two batters and struck out Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado to keep the game scoreless. Reed threw a spotless sixth inning after returning from the disabled list. Before Drew Smith and Edwin Diaz’s final two innings, Seth Lugo threw a perfect seventh inning.
It was Smith’s third straight appearance in which he allowed a run, following a season-long streak of 13 1/3 shutout innings in 12 appearances. In the eighth, Diaz gave up a single and a walk before retiring Harrison Bader swinging. Diaz’s third strikeout of the inning.
The Cardinals sent the top of their lineup to the plate in the eighth inning, and Showalter remarked, “I probably would have pitched [Diaz] in the eighth instead of the ninth,” he added. In the ninth, there were a few things, but he keeps grinding and working… It may go unseen, but Edwin’s early contributions to the project have not gone unappreciated.”
Fans booed Arenado before every at-bat because of his role in the Mets bench-clearing incident in St. Louis on April 27. Yoan Lopez threw a high and inside pitch to Arenado in that game. Stubby Clapp, the Cardinals’ first base coach, tackled Pete Alonso from behind after the benches had cleared and shove had been traded between the sides.