The big story from Friday nights Mets game will be Lucas Duda, especially after he was named the starting first baseman on Thursday and then he comes out last night and hits two home runs to help lead the Mets to their first victory of the season.
But there is also another story, and it is the solid pitching performance from Jenrry Mejia, who tossed six innings, giving up a run on four hits and allowing five walks while striking out eight batters to earn his first win of the season.
Mejia last season pitched well enough to earn a win in each of his outings and was finally getting his opportunity to shine. Then going into spring training he had to deal with not knowing if he would even make the Opening Day roster, and for others it could have been something very stressful to handle, but he took it in stride and let his confidence speak for itself.
He also has a very calm demeanor as he goes about his business and it shows with how he conducts himself during a game.
“I feel very confident in myself and I like the competition,” Mejia tells me when we spoke during spring training.
He has powerful arm and now with an opportunity to go out every fifth day, it will be exciting to watch him continue to develop into an all star pitcher.
The Mets made the right decision in rewarding him a rotation spot and now they just need to leave him alone and allow him to continue to strive. A very good start to 2014 is in the books and now the team can focus on going out today and building on the win. But what Mejia did, was take off the pressure on the other starters to get the job done.
I always felt that Mejia had a serviceable arm, but now I feel confident that he can be one of the top pitchers on the staff if the Mets allow him to spread his wings and take off. On a night when the temperature fell below 40 degrees, all the right-hander did was put the Mets on his back and carry them to victory even though the weather was unbearable.
“That’s pretty tough, I fought through it[cold weather] the best I can. Sometimes I didn’t feel my fingers,” Mejia shared Adam Rubin of ESPN NY.
It may not have seemed as impressive as Duda’s two bombs, but it had the same impact for the team.
Looking forward to Mejia’s second start, and hopefully the weather will cooperate.
(Photo Credit: Brad Barr)