Mets free-agent acquisition shines in debut

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Mets
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets’ starting pitching was a bit lackluster in their opening series against the Milwaukee Brewers, and their struggles certainly contributed to their going winless in the series.

In their series opener with the Detroit Tigers, the blue and orange’s starting pitching showed their promise.

Sean Manaea shines in his Mets debut

On Monday evening, Sean Manaea stepped on the Citi Field bump for the first time since signing a two-year $28 million contract, donning the blue and orange and dazzled.

The 32-year-old had all four of his primary pitches working, with his four-seam fastball showing exceptional life, hitting as high as 95 MPH.

Manaea’s newest pitch, the sweeper, was especially effective. Although the pitch was only fired seven times, they resulted in five swings-and-misses.

The left-hander carried a perfect game through four innings before a leadoff walk to Riley Greene to begin the fifth ended that bid. 

The Indiana native retired the next three batters in order to take a no-hitter into the fifth.

Manea would get two outs in the fifth before an Andy Ibanez single broke up the no-hit bid, but Carson Kelly would get gunned out at home courtesy of a laser beam from Brandon Nimmo on the same play to conclude the sixth.

The left-hander’s final stat line came to six innings pitched, allowing just the one hit while walking a pair and striking out eight.

“It was pretty good,” Manaea said about his debut. “I’m just throwing my stuff for strikes right now and getting ahead of guys. I know that my stuff plays well, and I have confidence in all of my pitches, so now I’m just realizing it.”

Mendoza’s thoughts on Manaea’s performance

“It was a really good outing for him,” new manager Carlos Mendoza said. “His fastball was really good. The way he attacked hitters, he was getting a lot of swings-and-misses on his fastball. The cutter was good, the change up was good, and he threw some good sliders.”

Mendoza will next give Manaea the ball for Sunday’s matinee matchup against the Cincinnati Reds with first-pitch scheduled for 1:40 p.m.

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