Monday, March 5, 2012

Grapefruit League Game 1 Preview: Mets Baseball is Back!

The New York Mets (0-0) will begin Grapefruit League play tonight at 6:10 PM ET at Digital Domain Park following the ruling that the Wilpons will need to face trial on March 19th. While it's not the news that the organization was hoping to hear, Mets baseball is finally back and the off field distractions should be kept just there.

Dillon Gee will kick off Spring Training for the Amazing's as he looks to build stamina and confidence heading into his sophomore campaign. Lighting up Major League Baseball in the first half of the season, Gee was given an outside chance to be elected to the All Star Game. Unfortunately, Gee fell off during the second half as his ERA ballooned to well over 5. Blaming his lack of stamina, Gee worked to improve on that during the offseason, even picking up Pilates as a new form of exercise. Gee's efforts to command all of his pitches early on will be a big testament to see if he can recapture his early season form of last year.

Following Gee will be Matt Harvey, who will be getting one of his first tastes against MLB hitters. There will be a ton of eyes on Harvey, who has been opening eyes this spring amidst a proclamation that he's hoping to break camp with the big league squad. While it's almost certain that he'll begin the season working at a high level in the minor leagues, a strong spring will leave a lasting impression that could see a mid-season call up for the Mets 2010 1st round pick. Miguel Batista, Tim Byrdak, Daniel Herrera and Frank Francisco are also scheduled to pitch this evening.

David Wright is out of action for the first two games of spring (for now) with ribcage discomfort, giving way for Justin Turner to start at 3rd. Minor league home run king Val Pascucci will DH.

Long Island native John Lannan will start for the Washington Nationals(0-2), who kicked off their play on Saturday. The Nationals didn't send many big names to Port St. Lucie tonight, but did send the highly touted Bryce Harper to start in right field. Rick Ankiel, whom New York showed interest in during the offseason, will man center.

Mets baseball is back!

New York Mets Starting Lineup:
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Daniel Murphy 2B
3. Justin Turner 3B
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Lucas Duda RF
7. Val Pascucci DH
8. Josh Thole C
9. Ruben Tejada SS

Washington Nationals Starting Lineup:
1. Roger Bernadina LF
2. Steve Lombardozzi SS
3. Mark Teahen 3B
4. Chad Tracy 1B
5. Rick Ankiel CF
6. Bryce Harper RF
7. Jesus Flores C
8. Xavier Paul DH
9. Andres Blanco SS